Thursday, August 11, 2022

Can the lawsuits against Alex Jones help turn the tide of disinformation?

For years Alex Jones spread the lie that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, were a government hoax and the victims' families were paid actors.

This led to online harassment and death threats for the parents of children who died at Sandy Hook.

Last week in Austin, Texas, a jury ordered Jones to pay $4.1m in compensatory damages and $45.2m in punitive damages to the parents of Jesse Lewis, a six-year-old boy killed in the shooting.

Interviewed for Democracy Now, Elizabeth Williamson of the New York Times says:

The reason why the families have brought this suit, [is] that they feel like Sandy Hook - and I agree, and that’s what I wrote in my book - that this was a foundational moment in this decade-long descent into disinformation and false narratives that our society is undergoing. And the families are raising a red flag, that, you know, this is not only impacting us, this is eroding the foundation of our democracy.

You can listen to the interview above or read a transcript at Democracy Now.


David Evans said...

The only way is accept that these people are our enemies and we have to totally break and bankrupt them. Those who don't like the use of the term enemies to describe them, really have to grow up and learn that if they aren't part of the solution they are the problem, because these right wing extremists are only interested in destroying us, our party, our values and our country and will try to break anyone they choose in order for their evil to triumph.

Jonathan Calder said...

I agree with you and I think Karl "Paradox of Tolerance" Popper would too.