I was reading an article today where one of the victims of the Los Vegas shooting was saying that he was being harassed and threatened by people who buy into the conspiracy theory that no one died in Vegas, that crisis actors were hired.

This got me thinking, could such a victim (or all of the victims in a class actions suit) sue Alex Jones based on defamation or slander since he's the purveyor of this conspiracy (well, I suppose the most popular).

This question could also be posed of the Sandy Hook Massacre or even the 9/11 terrorist attack as Alex has said the same about those events.

  • "...could such a victim (or all of the victims in a class actions suit) sue based on defamation or slander?" How might victims of slander come together to undertake a civil RICO lawsuit. Jan 26, 2022 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


Alex Jones has been sued for defamation; see Alex Jones Retracts Chobani Claims to Resolve Lawsuit - The New York Times

The basis of the lawsuit were the reports published on Infowars (the website and YouTube) that said

the (Chobani) factory in Idaho, which employs refugees, was connected to the 2016 sexual assault of a child and a rise in tuberculosis cases. The reports were promoted on Twitter under the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” and were spread widely online.

The suit was settled and Alex Jones retracted the stories because those "facts" about Chobani and its owner, Hamdi Ulukaya (Wikipedia) that were published by Jones - sexual assault of a child and a rise in tuberculosis cases - were provably false. There were no proven cases regarding sexual assault, or documented rises in tuberculosis cases in Idaho or caused by the yogurt. Such libel impacted Chobani's business and Ulukaya's reputation, so he sued Jones.

Evidently the lawsuit was settled before going to trial, because Jones broadcast that

“The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be reposted. On behalf of InfoWars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

Those false reports were published - on a website, on Youtube and Twitter - and that satisfied the requirements of libel, which is the publication of provably false facts. Libel is a written or published defamatory statement, while slander is defamation that is spoken by the defendant. (Public figures have a higher threshold of proving libel; they must prove actual malice. Ulukaya may or may not be considered a public figure.) For a full outline of defamation, see Defamation, Slander and Libel | Nolo.com

Unless Jones has retracted the provably false facts he has (allegedly) published about Sandy Hooks and 9/11, or somehow noted that they were his ideas or theories and not provable facts, or that he was simply retelling the facts he had been given, he could be sued. The lawsuit above cited Jones'

previous contentions that the Sept. 11 attacks were orchestrated by the United States government and that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax concocted by those hostile to the Second Amendment.

so he does have a record of commenting or reporting on those incidents.

Jones has also Apologized for Promoting ‘Pizzagate’ Hoax (The New York Times), possibly because he was threatened with a lawsuit. And so he does appear to have a Modus operandi (Wikipedia) for this style of reporting and retracting stories.

Jones or anyone else could be sued if they published what he called facts about the Las Vegas victims that were provably false. That would depend on the facts of the case: the victim(s) and the people or news sources that allegedly libeled the victim(s) by publishing the "facts."


Most likely no. First, is this person specifically named by Alex Jones? I admit, I have not heard the case and I don't give Jones the time of day beyond a great remix of his "Gay Frogs" statements, so I know little of it.

Second, was it framed as a statement of fact? Opinions are not fact, though some clever people can do near slanderous things when phrasing their opinion, such as putting it to the public in the form of a question, or starting it with "I believe" or "I think". He can even say he heard it from other unnamed sources, so that he's not saying a matter of fact for certain, but rather what his source has reported to him.

Third, was it known to be false. If the statement is a factual statement OR Alex Jones sincerly believed it was factual at the time, then it's fair game. If it is proven false, Jones still could claim he believed it factual at the time. Again, with the sources, he's only reporting what his sources told him, which is factual (his source did tell him that statement he reported is a fact. That the statement he reported was false is irrelevent, because Jones specifically said someone else is claiming it.).

Fourth, was it Malicious on Jones part. This generally is a deciding factor. If you are a private citizen, your given more legal room for this. If Jones says your name and no one knew who you were before that... and what Jones says about you is false, there you go. However, if you were known to the public before Jones' statements (even if are a victim of the event that lead to the public knowledge of you) then you're considered a public entity and there's a bit more scrutiny as to how malicious Jones intended to be. You would have to show Jones published this story without proper research, reported it, and continue to report it anyway when he learned it was false. If the person who is a victim of alleged slander even talked to a media personality about their experience in the event, in the eyes of the law you've opened yourself enough to get the heavier burden of malicious reporting.

  • Is a legal distinction made between malicious defamation published on social media and malicious defamation privately circulated via e-mails? Jan 26, 2022 at 15:54

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