In the blink of an eye—or in the panicked flop-sweat of an incompetent rich man—decades of brilliant, stupid, funny, tragic, important, meaningless, original, and copy-pasted digital-media work was wiped off the Internet this week.
According to Gawker, G/O Media leadership (almost certainly CEO Jim Spanfeller) ordered the images be removed from nearly all articles on G/O Media sites (including The Onion, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jalopnik, etc.) that pre-dated the company’s purchase by private-equity firm Great Hill Partners. Everything from original art and illustrations done or commissioned by in-house staff to the raison d'etre of the legendary Deadspin post, “Butthole Eaten at Lions Tailgate,” gone.
The loss is practically incalculable, especially for writers and readers of a certain age. The current stable of G/O Media sites contains months, years, decades of full-time work from many of the best and brightest writers and editors of the Aughties and Aughtteens. Much of that work has now been degraded or destroyed.