Why Alex Jones Has It Wrong
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Politics

Sorry, Alex Jones, But Your Ridiculous Claims Aren't 'Protected Speech'

Dear Alex Jones, bullying isn't protected under the First Amendment.

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Sorry, Alex Jones, But Your Ridiculous Claims Aren't 'Protected Speech'
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiredforsound23/11186742126

There is nothing Americans seem to prioritize more than the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech. They've used it as justification for kneeling for the national anthem, for voicing opinions in op-eds, and for me personally, being able to write this article. The same can be said for those who oppose kneeling for the anthem and for those who challenge sentiments brought forth in op-eds and online pieces. Each and every party mentioned above has a right to express themselves and say what they would like.

Now, I am all for your right to free speech. I believe it is a fundamental aspect of our democracy and our society. But as with anything in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing very quickly. That being said, all freedoms also have limits and expectations. Without these regulations, our country would be headed straight for anarchy. However, different scholars often dispute what is and what is not protected free speech. In general, the categories of unprotected speech include defamation, blackmail, child pornography, and so on. The full list can be found on the Freedom Forum Institute's website.

One popular recent dispute about this issue comes with Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars and the self-proclaimed Sandy Hook truther. Since the tragedy at the Newtown school on December 14th, 2012, Jones has spent the last five years tormenting the families of the victims and going into elaborate detail on why the shooting was supposedly a hoax. He has taken specific aim at the parents of late Noah Pozner, who died at just six years old on that day. He has called the parent's crisis actors and has claimed that the shooting was staged to advance an agenda focused on banning assault weapons.

But it is not only Jones that is having an influence on the grieving families. Scores of his followers, those who believe the outrageous claim that Sandy Hook never happened, have stalked the families and sent death threats. Pozner's parents, in fact, have had to move seven times in the last five years, and are now living in a high-security location hundreds of miles from where Noah is buried.

So what's the issue with this?

Alex Jones is now suing the Pozner family for $100,000 and wants the lawsuit issued against him dismissed. He is citing free speech. There are two main issues with this. First of all:

  1. Defamation includes libel and slander. The issue the Pozners are focused on is libel, given that Jones has made a career off of invalidating the events that happened at Sandy Hook, as well as the existence of the victims in general. You may, hence, say whatever you want, but when you begin damaging someone's reputation and putting them at risk of harm, that's where the line is drawn. It doesn't seem like Mr. Jones, who claims to be highly educated, is grasping this concept.
  2. The words Jones uses are morally wrong. Just because you have the opportunity to say something doesn't mean you should say it. To even question the authenticity of a shooting of this caliber, especially after all of the conspiracy claims are debunked, is ridiculousness.

All we can do now is hope that people learn not to take advantage of the rights they have to torment and invalidate others. I hope this will be a lesson Mr. Jones will learn in court in the coming weeks.

Source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alex-jones-defamation-lawsuit-infowars-conspiracy-theorist-sued-by-sandy-hook-families-2018-08-01/

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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