Alex Jones owes victims of Sandy Hook $965 million, jury finds

After nearly a decade of propagating baseless conspiracy theories and outright lies about the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a Connecticut jury has turned the victims’ families and an FBI agent whose life was turned upside down by Jones was awarded nearly a billion dollars in damages “claiming the shooting was a hoax. Jones, who was deplatformed by most major social media and podcast platforms years ago, said on his show he will appeal the verdict.

The jury of the week-long trial was tasked with deciding how much the Inforwars host should pay in damages to 15 plaintiffs after being previously found guilty of defamation. Corresponding cnn, Prosecutors had sought at least $500 million in damages to “represent the more than 550 million online impressions Jones’ Sandy Hook lie allegedly received online.” The jury ultimately awarded $965 million, an amount that does not include punitive damages.

Though Jone and several accounts and pages associated with him have been banned from Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms for years, his social media reach was taken to court before those bans. At one point during the trial, prosecutors revealed Jones’ Facebook engagement in 2016, indicating he had more than 4.1 billion impressions on the platform at the time.

Jones and InfoWars were finally kicked off Facebook and Instagram in 2019 after previously banning Spotify and Apple’s podcast platforms. Although his deplatforming made him less relevant in mainstream social media, Infowars actually made more money after the ban, evidence gathered at the trial shows. A forensic economist testified that Jones’ net worth could be as high as $270 million.

How much money Jones victims actually get is another matter. In addition to an expected appeal, Jones was also accused of using shell companies and other techniques to protect his assets from court cases.

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