Reddit Troll is Horrible, but Gawker Is Not Much Better

Few people look good after this week's outing of “the biggest troll on the web” by Gawker. Certainly not the troll, and certainly not Reddit, where the troll was given free rein to post, or facilitate the posting, of all kinds of horrible stuff. But also not Gawker, nor many of the people weighing in on the story, many of whom don't seem to understand what free speech is and what it isn't, or what the First Amendment protects, and what it doesn't. Which seems odd because it's really not that difficult a concept.

Gawker sometimes does good work. On balance, though, it's an amoral sleaze factory interested not in illumination so much as in drawing traffic and money to itself and its chief, Nick Denton. (Everybody publishing on the web wants traffic and money. When it's the primary motivation, though … well, you get what so much of the media is now shaping up to be: crap.)

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