Hulk Hogan Vs. Gawker Case Raises Historical Issue of Cyber-Stalking Protections
By Andrea Le Chen
Google and Gawker Media are financial and political partners. Together, they have made hundreds of millions of dollars off of the U.S. Government. They pay each other for “services”. They have been found to have wired quite a lot of cash back and forth to each other.
That’s right. Your taxpayer dollars end up in their bank accounts via subsidies, loans, cash contracts and payola from elected officials that they each take money from and give money to. This isn’t a theory. The federal records, campaign disclosures and beneficiary records prove this to be true.
Now, you have Hulk Hogan, who made a few million dollars as a wrestler getting harassed, “cyber-stalked”, getting digitally humiliated and losing his income and brand value because a multi-BILLION dollar bully, funded in part by U.S. taxpayer dollars, attacked him. Gawker set him up and Google amplified it around the globe in a permanent manner in order to make money off of the “clicks” and “eyeballs”.
While many say the case is “really about privacy” it is also about the balance of power and the fairness of justice. If a millionaire is attacked by a multi-billion dollar entity because they wish to harm him, is the justice that the attacker gets from the attack-ee fair? Some main-stream members of the public may immediately give low credence to Hogan because of the “millionaire” label. In fact, Hogan made his money over many decades and the few million he made had to be parsed out over decades for him to survive, feed the wife and kids and fly to promotional events. A few million doesn’t last that long these days.
Let’s shift gears to the poor people whose lives Nick Denton and Gawker Media have destroyed. Denton has hundreds of millions of dollars squirreled away overseas in the Cayman Islands and Eastern Bloc tax hide-aways. He has destroyed the lives of a number of people who make less money than the average grocery clerk.
Gawker Media has taken regular people who are writers, reporters, bloggers, game reviewers, engineers, programmers and other regular folks from low-income to bankruptcy simply because those regular people expressed an opinion that Nick Denton’s political clients did not like.
Hogan has a few more resources than the average person but not that much more. A lawsuit with Gawker will drain the last of his savings.
Whether or not you like wrestlers, muscles or entertainment TV the person should not be the moral issue for you.
The issue is: Should corporate bullies get to cyber-stalk people and destroy their lives out of political vengeance and ideological retribution?
Should a publicly financed, tax shielded (also a form for public finance) corporation, with a hundred million times more resources than an individual taxpayer, get to use their corporate rights to destroy individual taxpayers because they either disagree with those taxpayers, or because those taxpayers reported a crime that those corporations engaged in?
This case is not simply about a wrestler, it is about all of society wrestling with the human right to privacy and the human right to be protected from cyber-stalking by massively out of control government-sponsored bullies.