Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) blamed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for the suicide of Sandy Hook father Jeremy Richman.
Jones has claimed on his InfoWars radio program that the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was faked, and that Richman’s daughter, who was among 20 children and six adults shot killed in the massacre, was still alive — and some of his listeners bullied and harassed the grieving families.
“I’ll use his name — we’re talking about Alex Jones,” Murphy told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “and the fact of the matter is is that the companies that allow people like him, conspiracy theorists to be able to purvey lies have a responsibility. There is no constitutional duty on an internet company to allow somebody to terrorize parents of mass tragedies like Alex Jones did for so long.”
Richman had been one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Jones filed by other Sandy Hook families, and social media companies have banned accounts associated with the right-wing conspiracy theorist.
“The companies that allows this nonsense and garbage to be spread over the internet have a responsibility and duty themselves to do something earlier than they did in the case of InfoWars,” Murphy said. “I wish that these parents could shut it all out, but they can’t — they cannot — and some of them frankly turned to chasing down the conspiracy theorists as a full-time job because they see it as their responsibility to make sure that everyone knows what happened to their child, and think about how that sort of second victimization works when every day you log onto the internet trying to find the people denying the death of your child.”
“That’s something that none of us can comprehend,” he added, “and while we can’t ever make the lunatics completely disappear, there are some big commercial actors like Facebook (and) Twitter who can do a better job of policing.”