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On Monday, April 16, parents of two students who died during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting sued conspiracy theorist and media personality Alex Jones.

Jones, who runs the far-right conspiracy site Infowars.com, is no stranger to lawsuits. To say he plays fast and loose with facts would be an understatement, as he's pushed a number of absurd conspiracy theories over the years, including the idea that the government can control the weather and summon tornadoes at will, that Hillary Clinton has personally murdered people and runs a child sex trafficking operation out of a Washington, D.C.-area pizza place, and of course, his belief that the government is putting chemicals in our water supply that is making frogs gay.

None of his ridiculous conspiracy theories have had as lasting and as painful an effect as what he did to the Sandy Hook parents. More than five years after the tragedy, Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son died in the shooting, and Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, whose 5-year-old son also died, filed suit against Jones, Infowars, and a company called Free Speech Systems LLC.


Neil Heslin testified before congress in February 2013. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

His lies have turned these parents' lives into a living hell.

With an intense fanbase conditioned to not believe anything the mainstream media says, Jones should know better than to share baseless and dubious accusations about these families, lumping them into bizarre conspiracy theories.

Jones' YouTube page is riddled with videos related to the shooting, many pushing the idea that the whole thing was a "false flag" (in this case, the argument seems to be that the shooting was ordered and carried out by members of the government or some other shadowy organization to pressure Congress into taking away everyone's guns ... or something like that), that the entire thing was a hoax where no one died, that victims or their families were "crisis actors," and so on. A lot of this is pushed out there under the guise of "just asking questions" or some larger quest for truth that's being hidden.

Days after the shooting, community members grieve at a makeshift memorial for the Sandy Hook victims. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Here's just a small sampling of some of the videos still live on his page: Is Connecticut Shooting a False Flag?, Connecticut School Massacre Looks Like False Flag Says Witnesses, Sandy Hook, False Narratives Vs. The Reality, Sandy Hook: The Lies Keep Growing, New Sandy Hook Questions Arise from FOIA Hearing, Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed, Were Crisis Actors Used in Sandy Hook Massacre?, Creepy Illuminati Message in Batman Movie Hints at Sandy Hook School, Crisis Actors Used at Sandy Hook! Special Report, Dr. Steve Pieczenik: Sandy Hook Was a Total False Flag!, Retired FBI Agent Investigates Sandy Hook: Mega Massive Cover Up, Revealed: Sandy Hook Truth Exposed, Sandy Hook "Officials" Caught In Coverup And Running Scared, Bombshell: Sandy Hook Massacre Was a DHS Illusion Says School Safety Expert, and Why People Think Sandy Hook Is a Hoax.

A headline on Jones' website pushing a false claim about an FBI report. Image from Infowars.

In 2016, one fan of Jones' Sandy Hook commentary was arrested for sending death threats to Pozner. The woman, Lucy Richards, allegedly sent Pozner messages like "you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon" and "LOOK BEHIND YOU IT IS DEATH."

These families just want to be left alone, but Jones and other conspiracy theorists won't let up.

Pozner founded the Sandy Hook Honor Network in hopes of fighting back against the conspiracies about his son and the others gunned down. Still, the attacks continue from Jones and others. The internet makes spreading misinformation easier than ever, and conspiracy theorists like Jones have thrived as a result.

This lawsuit is about more than just Sandy Hook. This lawsuit is about fighting back against conspiracy theories and no longer allowing people to profit off disinformation. How many more people need to be tormented by Jones and others before we say enough?

via FIRST

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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