Last month a Florida jury awarded former wrestler Hulk Hogan $115 million in damages in an invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media. The case was about exposure of a sex tape and now the media is asking what this verdict means for the culture.
Is it a sign that the Internet's wild west days are over and that the standards of online journalism will be raised? Does it show that social media has taught everyone, even those of whose actions would normally go unreported, the importance of privacy? Gawker is going to appeal, so the case is not quite over. But the web is changing our expectations from reporters, celebrities, and one another, so let's look at privacy law.