Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy
Alternative media giant files for Chapter 11 protection amid multiple defamation lawsuits
Infowars is the news website of Alex Jones. It filed on Sunday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas. Jones has also filed for bankruptcy two other websites, PrisonPlanet TV & Infowars Heat.
Infowars asserts that it only has $50,000 in assets. It also claims that its liabilities range from $1million to $10million. Jones did not make the reason for his filing public. However, Jones was involved in expensive cases of defamation in recent years. Income from Infowars has also been hampered by Jones’s exclusion from major social media sites.
In November, Jones was held liable for the damages he caused to three family members who were victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School’s shooting. These lawsuits stemmed from claims Jones made that the attack had been staged in order to push stricter gun control laws. He was also found responsible in September in the same lawsuit brought by Texas relatives of Sandy Hook families.
However, it’s not clear how much Jones will have to pay in each case. He had previously offered the plaintiffs in Connecticut $120,000 each, arguing he was too sick to be deposed in court, but Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis instead fined him $75,000 for contempt of court – a fee that was refunded when Jones finally did turn up to speak.
It’s therefore possible that the bankruptcy may have been a tactic to stall for time, as filing for Chapter 11 pauses all civil litigation and allows companies to prepare turnaround plans while remaining operational. The Infowars and PrisonPlanet sites remain online, as does Jones’ supplement marketplace Infowars Health.
Last month, the radio host agreed to settle a defamation suit with Brendan Gilmore, a former State Department employee. He admitted that he did not have any evidence that Gilmore was involved in a conspiracy by the CIA and George Soros (currency speculator) in order to organize the violence at the Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville.
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Jones was among the first political figures to have been removed from social media. He was banned by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube within a matter of one month. His websites were criticized for publishing conspiracies and fake news. However, the social media platforms which banned Jones in 2018 said they had done so due to violations of hate speech rules.
Since Jones’ deplatforming, the practice has become much more widespread.