Nearly five years after Gawker's death at the hands of Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan, the divisive site is back. Bustle Digital Group purchased Gawker.com when Gawker Media was forced into bankruptcy due to the wrestler's lawsuit, and intended to relaunch years ago before that plan fell flat. Now it's finally come to fruition: In a welcome back post from new editor Leah Finnegan, the former Gawker writer notes that while she was initially not eager to take the job ("who in God’s name would want to edit a website that was cratered by an evil tech lord and sullied by a botched relaunch?") she ultimately decided, thanks to the dark days of early 2021, to take it on. "The current laws of civility mean that no, [the site] can't be exactly what it once was, but we strive to honor the past and embrace the present," she writes.
What it once was was, in part, a site known for skewering certain celebrities, some of whom were approached for this piece on reactions to the site's second coming. Paris Hilton's response, via a rep, was simply "No thank you!" while Spencer Pratt had this to say: "Gawker once referred to me as someone ‘they never wanted to hear from again.’ I’m glad that a stint in obscurity has made them reconsider. Best wishes on your little gossip blog!" Reaction on Twitter was mixed; some were gleeful, others were confused about what year it is, and still others called out the old site: "When I got arrested, Gawker took a swimsuit pic off my FB &wrote: 'Cornell senior smuggled heroin, posed in bikini, edited Cornell Daily Sun.' It was completely misogynist clickbait," writes one. "I am not glad they're back. But I hope they do better this time." (Read more Gawker stories.)