After raising more than $200,000, Gawker is giving up on brokering a deal with the seller of the infamous video.
Gawker, the U.S. website that crowdsourced over $200,000 towards the purchase of a cellphone video that allegedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, has just announced that it will be giving all that money to four Ontario community-service organizations, instead.
Of the $184,782 left over after Indiegogo and Paypal took their respective cuts of the Rob Ford Crackstarter’s $201,204 pot, Gawker says it will be giving $46,195.65 to each of the following places:
- The Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke
- The South Riverdale Community Health Centre
- Unison Health and Community Services
- Ontario Regional Addictions Partnership Committee
Gawker managed expectations throughout the Crackstarter process, so none of this comes as a surprise. From the outset, the website promised to donate the Crackstarter’s proceeds to a Canadian non-profit should the video deal go south. Before the Crackstarter had reached its funding goal, Gawker editor John Cook warned potential donors that he was having trouble getting in touch with the person who was selling the video. After the Crackstarter ended, Cook wrote another article explaining that the seller was claiming that the video was “gone.”
All of these organizations work to alleviate community-level drug problems in different ways, so assuming Gawker follows through (and we have no reason to expect that it won’t), the money won’t be going to waste. As of two months ago, the Star believed multiple copies of the video were in circulation. There’s still an outside chance it’ll surface, though it’s hard to imagine it ever commanding such a high price again.