Most of the archives from the now-defunct Gawker.com have remained online since the site’s death. However, as its domain goes up for auction, that could change. Though a group of former employees tried to raise money to buy the domain themselves, reports suggest that Peter Thiel–who bankrolled the lawsuits that killed the site–is also bidding on Gawker.com. Were that to happen, it’s almost certain that Gawker‘s archives would vanish.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has built a solution to counteract billionaires trying to delete past journalism. Working with the Archive-It service, which was created by the Internet Archive, Freedom of the Press is launching an “online archives collection” to keep the threatened webpages intact. Not only has all of Gawker been archived thanks to this tool, so has L.A. Weekly, which was recently bought by a mysterious deep-pocketed entity.
The Foundation writes that it hopes to “reduce the ‘upside’ for wealthy individuals and organizations who would eliminate embarrassing or unflattering coverage by purchasing outlets outright.”