Court rejects Gawker's hilarious claim that its former unpaid interns don't use social media
When last we checked in on the class action suit against Gawker by a group of former unpaid interns, Gawker was trying to restrict the ways in which attorneys for the interns could publicize the case.
Specifically, they wanted to prevent social media from being used to disseminate a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) court authorized notice which would notify other plaintiffs that they might be entitled to join the class action.
Gawker's argument was a ridiculous as it was absolutely fucking ridiculous: That there was no reason to believe that any of its former interns even use social media and so disseminating the notice in that way would be a waste of everyone's time.
In between bouts of hysterical laughing, Judge Alison J Nathan rejected that argument and authorized that Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and others be used to distribute the notice.
The judge also rejected the argument, again by Gawker's attorneys, that posting on social media would allow people to -- gasp! -- comment on the case without the court being able to shut them up.
The Court's inability to control "discussion of the lawsuit" on social media sites, as Defendants put it, is no different from the Court's inability to control two potential plaintiffs' discussions of the lawsuit in person, by telephone, or even on a social media page that could be created by such a person without the parties' intervention.Yelled everyone else in the universe: WAIT -- GAWKER IS SERIOUSLY COMPLAINING THAT PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO USE INTERNET COMMENTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO DISCUSS A NEWSWORTHY EVENT? ISN'T THAT GAWKER'S ENTIRE BUSINESS?
Incidentally, Judge Nathan's decision appears to be the first time a court has approved the use of social media to distribute this kind of FLSA notice. It likely won't be the last.
Here's the full ruling: