Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, fake and irresponsible conspiracy theories have spread that the whole thing was faked. Alex Jones, of Infowars, is one of the chief spreaders of this theory, despite the horrific death of 20 children and six staff.
Now a father of a boy who was killed during the 2012 school shooting has been given a full facial disguise before being interviewed on television, purely to protect him from being identified by conspiracy theorists who might threaten or harm him.
Lenny Pozner's son Noah was the youngest victim of the massacre at just six years old. Pozner was singled out by conspiracy theorists claiming that the murders never happened, and it was all a plot by the anti-gun lobby who wish to restrict access to firearms.
During the 60 Minutes interview, from behind a disguise of prosthetics, he said:
"I was being attacked for the memory of my son. My son's very short life was being attacked, and I just wasn't going to stand for that".
Pozner was promoting a campaign to have social media companies held responsible for the content they allow to spread online.
In the past he has won financial settlements from those spreading lies. In June 2017 Lucy Richards, 57, was sentenced to five months in a Florida jail for having sent messages to Pozner, including one that read: “Death is coming to you real soon and nothing you can do about it”.
In early 2019 he won a defamation case against editors of a book that claimed no one died in the shooting. And in December that year InfoWars host Alex Jones, was ordered to pay $100,000 in damages to another father of a Sandy Hook victim.
Pozner has had to move several times for his own safety after receiving threats from conspiracy theorists.
On Twitter, people couldn’t believe that this disguise was necessary.
It’s a sad state of affairs that measures like this are necessary. But perhaps it says more about America in 2020 than words ever could.