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The Internet, Newsworthiness, and Invasion of Privacy

Has the Internet blurred the line between newsworthiness and invasion of privacy? It’s one of the central questions in the ongoing jury trial pitting former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan against gossip site Gawker.

In 2012, Gawker posted a short clip of Hogan, whose real name is Terry G. Bollea, having sex with his friend’s wife. Hogan, in return, filed a $100 million lawsuit against Gawker, claiming a “massive, highly-intrusive, and long-lasting invasion of [his] privacy.” Gawker, meanwhile, has argued that it is constitutionally protected to publish newsworthy information about a public figure, particularly one like Hogan who has openly discussed his sex life in books and radio interviews.

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