According to ABC News, six families of victims who were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 won a legal victory today against InfoWars host Alex Jones.
A judge in Connecticut has granted the families’ discovery requests, allowing them access to, among other things, Infowars’ internal marketing and financial documents.
The judge has scheduled a hearing next week to decide whether to allow the plaintiffs’ attorneys to depose Jones.
The plaintiffs include the parents of five children who went to the school as well as family members of first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto and Principal Dawn Hochsprung, according to a statement from the plaintiff’s attorneys.
Alex Jones originally propagated the blatant lie that the Sandy Hook shooting was a false flag operation using crisis actors, adding to the horrific trauma the victims’ families were already dealing with.
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The plaintiffs said that Jones engage in a “years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones that day are paid actors who faked their relative’s deaths.”
This also included “physical confrontations and harassment, death threats and personal attacks on social media.”
Chris Mattei, who is an attorney for one of the families involved, said “From the beginning, we have alleged that Alex Jones and his financial network trafficked in lies and hate in order to profit from the grief of Sandy Hook families. That is what we intend to prove, and today’s ruling advances that effort.”
What this means is that the victims will gain access to InfoWars’ internal marketing and financial documents, which will undoubtedly help them prove their case against Jones. They will get to see communications between Alex Jones and his staff about Sandy Hook, which I imagine will very likely include their plan to manufacture lies and market it to his gullible audience.
But as ABC News pointed out, Alex Jones and his attorney are somehow claiming they’re not responsible for causing trauma to the victims’ families:
“Plaintiffs suffered a horrible tragedy,” his defense attorney, Jay M. Wolman, wrote in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. “Alex Jones and Infowars are not responsible for this tragedy. To punish them for First Amendment protected speech on this matter of public concern will not bring back the lives lost.”
It really feels like the walls are closing in on Alex Jones and InfoWars. Of course, last summer he was banned from many social media websites, crippling his ability to widely distribute his content, and hampering his advertising revenue on sites like YouTube and Facebook.
Like I’ve said before, in the case of Alex Jones, it’s not simply a “battle of ideas.” He’s lying. Things that are not true do not fall under the umbrella of being part of an ideology. They’re just false statements. He’s spreading things that are not true.
When a platform is used by someone in a way to repeatedly spread demonstrably false information and when they repeatedly encourages violence, they forfeit their ability to use that platform. Sites like InfoWars, and people like Alex Jones, have repeatedly done these things and do not deserve to have a voice on these platforms.