Among those suspended include InfoWars personality Owen Shroyer, who had recently used Twitter to promote a rally in Austin, Texas against the state’s stay-at-home order. Shroyer has used his accounts to discredit reports that hospitals are overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, though his account was not removed for this reason.
The judge has ordered Jones to pay Heslin $22,250 in attorney fees, making the total amount Jones now owes Neil Heslin just under $150,000.
In an attempt to tamp down on misinformation about the coronavirus, Newark’s Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose released a statement on March 11th warning that any false reporting about the virus in Newark could result in criminal prosecution.
On December 20th, a Texas district court judge ordered Alex Jones to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees in a defamation suit brought by the father of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The defamation suit brought by Neil Heslin is one of several suits filed against Jones by the families who lost children in the school shooting on December 14, 2012.
A Wisconsin judge ruled that the co-editors of a book that claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax were guilty of defamation. Following the December 2012 mass shooting, James Fetzer and Michael Palecek published a book, “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook: It was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control,” claiming that the federal agency had staged the event to promote gun control. The book also claimed the Leonard Pozner, the father of the youngest Sandy Hook victim, was complicit in the conspiracy, and had fabricated his son’s death certificate.
Facebook is banning some controversial, well-known figures for violating the social media giant’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence. The list includes Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, conspiracy theorists Laura Loomer and Paul John Watson, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who promotes anti-Semitic views, and Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who ran for Congress in 2018.
People whose reputation has been harmed by a publication may decide to sue for libel. In today’s highly charged political environment, a number of high-profile libel suits have been filed as a result of public controversies. Among them, Sandy Hook Elementary School parents sued Alex Jones and Infowars; coal mogul Robert Murray sued Last Week Tonight host John Oliver; Stormy Daniels, a porn star, sued Donald Trump; and a woman who claimed Bill Cosby assaulted her sued him for libel. Sandy Hook parents, who suffered the trauma of losing their children to a mass murderer, and their lawsuit against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, provides a compelling case study for teaching defamation law.
Alex Jones and InfoWars Twitter accounts have been permanently removed from the platform following a live-streamed confrontation on Periscope between CNN's Oliver Darcy and Alex Jones on Capital Hill, where Jones ranted at Darcy and about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who was on the Hill for congressional hearings. Twitter cited a violation of their abusive behavior policy as the reason for the move.