The jury in a defamation lawsuit against Infowars Host Alex Jones has ordered him to pay $965 million in damages for what the plaintiffs’ attorney described as “defamation on a historic scale.” Once attorney fees are determined, Jones will owe more than $1 billion in lawsuits stemming from his broadcasts and public statements peddling lies about the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. Jones claimed for years that the massacre was a false flag staged by the government.
According to Professor Roy Gutterman L’00, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, these lawsuits may open the door for future victims of misinformation-based harassment to turn to the courts for relief.
“Most defamation cases really focus on an individual plaintiff,” said Gutterman. “So, in some ways, these lawsuits against Alex Jones and Infowars are kind of a novel way to rein in this new genre of conspiracy theory-related information.”