MEDIA
06/01/2016 09:50 am ET Updated Jun 01, 2016

Jeff Bezos Warns That Revenge Against Gawker Is Pointless

Peter Thiel is warring with the website, but Amazon’s founder says public figures should develop a thick skin.

Jeff Bezos did not mince words when throwing shade on fellow tech billionaire Peter Thiel over his war with media company Gawker.

“Seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one for yourself," the Amazon founder said at the Code Conference in Los Angeles Tuesday night, in reference to a quote attributed to Chinese philosopher Confucius.

“The best defense to speech that you don’t like about yourself as a public figure is to develop a thick skin,” he added, stressing that this wasn't particularly directed at Thiel or any particular story. "If you absolutely can't tolerate critics, then don't do anything new or interesting."

Peter Thiel has reportedly spent around $10 million hiring lawyers to find lawsuits to bring against Gawker.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Peter Thiel has reportedly spent around $10 million hiring lawyers to find lawsuits to bring against Gawker.

Bezos then warned against the erosion of free speech in the U.S. “Beautiful speech doesn’t need protection," he said. "It's ugly speech that needs protection. That’s where the rubber’s gonna meet the road.”

Thiel has been out to get Gawker  ever since the website ran a piece titled "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people." 

But the PayPal co-founder's personal vendetta only came into the spotlight last week when it was revealed that he was secretly financing wrestler Hulk Hogan's $140 million lawsuit against Gawker after it published snippets of his sex tape.

Thiel told The New York Times in May he had helped fund other lawsuits against the media company, which he declined to identify publicly.

He said Gawker had published articles that were “very painful and paralyzing" for people it targeted. “I thought it was worth fighting back," Thiel told the Times.

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