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Alex Jones turned conspiracy theories into fame and fortune.
Now they may be his ruin.
Jones clawed his way from public access television in the mid-1990s to become one of the most-watched live streamers in the world.
While some far-right influencers started spewing conspiracy theories after discovering there’s riches down rabbit holes, Jones had a conspiratorial bent from the jump.
He’s spent three decades ranting about plots to “turn the friggin’ frogs gay,” Family Guy predicting the Boston Marathon bombing, and child slave colonies on Mars. Jones was accusing the Illuminati of plotting a New World Order years before QAnon.
Jones even blazed the trail of getting kicked off social media platforms.
His frenetic energy, gravelly voice, and willingness to do or say anything to get attention and sell those wacky supplements have earned Jones legions of fans—and equally passionate detractors.
It’s also made Jones extremely rich. At least it did until his lies finally caught up with him.
Last fall, a jury awarded families of victims of the Sandy Hook mass school shooting over $1 billion over Jones’ repeated lies accusing them and their dead children of being crisis actors involved in a false flag operation.
Clearly the jury didn’t buy his previous claims that a form of “psychosis” caused him to tell these lies, that it was just “rhetorical hyperbole,” or that his persona is merely a character he’s playing.
Jones is too toxic for mainstream social media platforms. Not even Twitter, whose new ownership is cool with letting practically anyone else back on, will touch him.
These days, Jones’ internet homes are along the fringes. In addition to his websites, he’s on Gab, Gettr, Parler, Telegram, and Truth Social.
Why it matters
It’s easy to laugh at Alex Jones, and many people do.
It’s funny when he vows to make a literal meal of his neighbor if his cupboards run bare and hilarious when he falls for a fake article by a Cum Town host.
But Jones’ schtick doesn’t merely inspire Pepe the Frog lawsuits and questions about his mental acuity. He’s an extremely influential figure who spent years spreading the lies and hate that gave rise to dangerous far-right extremism and conspiracy theories that have taken over huge swaths of the population.
That $1 billion-plus Sandy Hook judgment may have taken him down a bit, but only a fool would count Alex Jones out.
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*First Published: Jan 6, 2023, 6:00 am CST
Claire Goforth is a staff writer at the Daily Dot covering all things politics and technology with a focus on the far right and conspiracy theories.