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Gawker Media is gone, bought by Univision, which is now attempting to pick up the pieces. Apparently, that means deleting posts that are the subject of pending litigation against Gawker. In total, Univision has wiped six posts from the internet, and three of them come from Deadspin.

– Wait, Did Clowntroll Blogger Chuck Johnson Shit On The Floor One Time?

– Mitch Williams Ejected from Child’s Baseball Game for Arguing, Cursing

– Witnesses: Mitch Williams Called Child ‘A Pussy,’ Ordered Beanball

All three of those posts got Gawker in some legal trouble.

Chuck Johnson is a generally odious conservative blogger who may or may not have pooped on a floor once. He doesn’t have anything to do with sports, but that doesn’t usually stop Deadspin. Johnson sued Deadspin writers Greg Howard and J.K. Trotter for the poop story.

Mitch Williams is  a former Major League relief pitcher and MLB Network studio analyst. He was fired from the latter job after Deadspin reported that he misbehaved at a youth baseball game. He sued Deadspin over the report.

Via The Huffington Post, here is Univision’s statement on the deletions:

“Following our acquisition of assets from Gawker Media, we have decided to take down select articles that are the subject of pending litigation against the prior owners,” Univision said in a statement.

“At this time of transition, the decision was based on a desire to have a clean slate as we look to support and grow the editorial missions of the acquired brands,” it said.

Predictably, the Gawker contingent isn’t thrilled that Univision is taking down their work under legal pressure, with Gawker executive editor John Cook arguing in a memo to staff…

“…that disappearing true posts about public figures simply because they have been targeted by a lawyer who conspired with a vindictive billionaire to destroy this company is an affront to the very editorial ethos that has made us successful enough to be worth acquiring.”

Taking down true stories because of legal and financial precedent is a pretty dangerous precedent. In a way, the deletions are a microcosm of the larger Gawker downfall, in which Hulk Hogan, bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel, sued the company into submission. Hopefully we don’t enter an era in which media outlets determine which stories deserve to exist based on whether they can sustain a lawsuit.

The six posts are currently gone, replaced by the following note: “This story is no longer available as it is the subject of pending litigation against the prior owners of this site.”

 

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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