/Maybe Information Actually Doesn’t Want to Be Free

Maybe Information Actually Doesn’t Want to Be Free


In June 2017, the location landed one in all its greatest scoops: a function that exposed sexual harassment allegations towards one in all Silicon Valley’s most well-connected enterprise capitalists. Six girls had accused Justin Caldbeck, a associate at Binary Capital, of undesirable sexual advances, with three of them talking to the reporter, Mr. Albergotti, on the file.

The story uncovered a pervasive tradition of misogyny and harassment inside tech, instantly raised The Information’s profile and was a precursor of the broader #MeToo motion. But Mr. Albergotti, who now works at The Washington Post, remembered the workers’s anxiousness as they acquired nearer to publishing. They have been keenly conscious of what had occurred to Gawker, which was sued for invasion of privateness by Hulk Hogan. The swimsuit, which was financed by the enterprise capitalist Peter Thiel, drove Gawker into extinction and stoked a worry amongst publishers that anybody with sufficient cash and willpower might vaporize a information outlet.

As the Caldbeck story was about to go to press, Ms. Lessin was in Italy attending a convention. She consulted the corporate’s legal responsibility insurance coverage, which she had printed out, in her lodge room earlier than heading to a dinner the place she can be seated with Jeff Bezos. “I don’t remember if I vomited or not,” she stated. “But I was very nervous.” She gave the inexperienced gentle.

Mr. Caldbeck didn’t sue. Instead, he resigned. A short time later, his enterprise agency collapsed. As a feminine entrepreneur, Ms. Lessin felt The Information’s work was “deeply personal,” particularly as a number of males within the business, who had heard the piece was within the works, contacted her to counsel the claims have been overblown. These have been “men I respect, who I was close to,” she stated.

She wouldn’t title them. Ms. Schuker Blum, who labored together with her at The Journal, stated Ms. Lessin is just not a gossip, like many reporters. “She’s not the journalist who’s always complaining,” Ms. Schuker Blum stated. “She’s not a conspiracy theorist. She sees the best in people.”

Daniel Ek, the chief government of Spotify, stated he discovered the occasional, important story on his firm “not unfair.” But he added that Ms. Lessin “has to walk a tightrope given the level of access that she has. That’s got to be tough.”

Ms. Lessin’s connections proceed to elevate eyebrows, notably these to Facebook. She and her husband are pals with their Harvard classmates Mark Zuckerberg, the corporate’s chief government, and his spouse, Priscilla Chan, who runs the couple’s philanthropy efforts. They attended one another’s weddings and each have younger youngsters. (Ms. Lessin’s two boys, Lion and Maverick, are each below the age of three.) Mr. Zuckerberg was at The Information’s launch occasion, the place she joked that for the super-high subscription charge of $10,000 a narrative may very well be killed (however only one). Recently, Ms. Chan was a speaker at an Information occasion.



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