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Media

A Letter to Peter Thiel

Dear Peter,

I’m the only journalist I am aware of who has been openly sympathetic toward your campaign against Gawker. I’ve taken quite a bit of heat for it. But I still believe that you, like everyone else, have a right to support lawsuits against media organizations you believe have violated the law. A world where the uber-rich can put a publication out of business based on a vendetta is a scary one. But so too is a world where media organizations aren’t held to account when they cross lines, as Gawker has repeatedly done.

This week—a few days before Gawker.com announced it would be shuttering after Univision bought the company—you expanded your crusade. In The New York Times, you issued a broad appeal to protect online privacy and scolded reporters. “The press is too important to let its role be undermined by those who would search for clicks at the cost of the profession’s reputation,” you wrote.

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You ignore that technology doesn’t just allow information to spread instantly; it allows anyone to spread it.