Felix Salmon: By funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, Peter Thiel set a dangerous precedent that could be emulated by other billionaires

Peter Thiel acknowledged Wednesday that he funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media, spending about $10 million to help “victims” of Gawker in an act of “deterrence.” That sets a dangerous precedent, Felix Salmon writes: “If Thiel’s strategy works against Gawker, it could be used by any billionaire against any media organization. Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump, the list goes on and on. Up until now, they’ve mostly been content suing news organizations as plaintiffs, over stories which name them. But Thiel has shown them how to go thermonuclear: bankroll other lawsuits, as many as it takes, and bankrupt the news organization that way.”

+ First Amendment attorney Kevin Goldberg says Thiel’s involvement in Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit could have a chilling effect, especially as cash-strapped news organizations struggle to finance lawsuits in defense of their journalism (Poynter)