Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy Dec. 2, citing the $1.5 billion in damages he owes to nine families who lost their children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
First Amendment lawyer Lyrissa Lidsky weighs in on a recently upheld social media censorship law in Texas that would bar platforms with more than 50 million users from removing content with political viewpoints. A different circuit court in Florida filed a preliminary injunction against a similar law. Since both federal appeals courts disagreed, only the Supreme Court can decide if the platforms have a First Amendment right to censor, or if they don’t.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division on April 8th, the complaint argues that because the Attorney General uses @KenPaxtonTX for “official purposes,” his account is a public forum and blocking users based on their viewpoint is a violation of the First Amendment.
The lawsuit claims Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton used his official position to retaliate against the company by issuing a civil investigative demand (CID) seeking documents related to the company’s content moderation policies. Twitter’s lawyers said that Paxton’s actions infringed on the company’s First Amendment right to “make decisions about what content to disseminate through its platform.”
On January 22nd, the Texas Supreme Court rejected conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ request to toss four defamation lawsuits filed by parents whose children died in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The suits claim that Jones' statements calling the mass shooting a “giant hoax,” and accusing the parents of faking their children’s death were defamatory and caused the families emotional distress.
The cartoon is made up of five panels and starts with an image of a slave ship owner kneeling on a Black man's neck, and ends with a police officer kneeling on a Black man while he says "I can't breathe."
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.
Facing fees up to $10,000 for publishing photographs and videos captured with drones, the group say the law has deterred journalists from reporting on newsworthy events of public interest.