Yesterday, a Connecticut jury awarded Sandy Hook families nearly $1 billion in the latest lawsuit against Alex Jones. Jones spent years falsely accusing the families of the children and teachers murdered in the Sandy Hook school shooting of being crisis actors and denying that the shooting happened.
Twelve of the people Jones defamed got some measure of justice in their case against Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company that owns his website InfoWars, when the $965 million verdict was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Reactions poured in from all over the world. While many celebrated Jones being held accountable for lying about bereaved families and their lost loved ones, some of the worst people on the internet had the opposite reaction.
They’re outraged that Jones wasn’t simply allowed to lie with impunity, a nearly decade-long campaign that led to parents who lost their children being harassed.
Charlie Kirk of right-wing youth indoctrination operation Turning Point USA whined that Jones “owes a billion dollars for saying mean things.” Kirk also alleged that large media outlets should be sued for reporting that medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccines for children.
A common talking point among far-right figures and conspiracy theorists was that the verdict is merely based on Jones “hurting people’s feelings.” Right-wing outlet Red State called the judgment “truly insane.”
Extremist Tommy Robinson urged people to support Jones and proclaimed, “You are the resistance.”
Professional troll Mike Cernovich suggested that the judgment is akin to the United States becoming a repressive communist regime like the Soviet Union. “Stalin’s ghost has returned,” he claimed.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a Jones defender, said “free speech is dead.”
Jones’ employee Owen Shroyer urged fans not to worry because the Sandy Hook families won’t ever see that money. “There’s no big reserves they can grab,” he said. “There’s no big profits that they can grab here. They may think that but there’s just not.”
According to records that came out during the trial, InfoWars was making upwards of $800,000 a day in 2018.
Shroyer also insisted that both he and Jones wanted to be “destroyed by the corrupt establishment.”
Plenty of people pushed back on such assertions.
“While speech is free, the consequences can be quite costly,” wrote @davidnelsonORL.
Jones himself remains defiant.
“They want to scare everybody away from freedom, and scare us away from questioning Uvalde and what really happened there, or Parkland or any other event. And guess what? We’re not scared, and we’re not going away, and we’re not going to stop,” he said in a statement.
He also vowed to avoid paying the Sandy Hook families as long as possible.
“For hundreds of thousands of dollars, I can keep them in court for years, I can appeal this stuff, we can stand up against this travesty, against the billions of dollars they want. It’s a joke,” he said.