InfoWars is a right-wing extremist, fake news and conspiracy-promoting media group founded by Alex Jones in 1999. Its website, radio show, video content, and related media are produced in Austin, Texas and operated under Free Speech Systems LLC, a Texas company that filed for bankruptcy on July 29, 2022. In the past two decades, various InfoWars platforms have published numerous false, misleading, and defamatory stories, resulting in multiple lawsuits and removal from mainstream tech platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
As the face of InfoWars, Jones is regularly at the center of lawsuits filed by individuals and companies he has defamed and harassed. He originally began spreading conspiracy theories after being radicalized in the wake of the Waco siege and the Oklahoma City bombing, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut brought the most widely publicized lawsuit against Jones, which led to a $49.3 million defamation judgment against him in August 2022.
January 6, 2021
- Jones used his platform on InfoWars to promote the March to Save America rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol. In January 2022, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection subpoenaed Jones, who pleaded the 5th more than 100 times during his testimony.
- In the subpoena, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the committee, pointed out that Jones went on InfoWars after Trump’s infamous “be there, will be wild!” tweet to amplify the message by calling the then-president’s tweet “one of the most historic events in American history.”
- On Feb. 6, 2021, InfoWars ran an article claiming it had “proof” that Trump did not incite the Capitol riot. “The idea that President Trump wanted to supplant the Stop the Steal event permitted by US Capitol Police is ludicrous,” the piece claimed, and “so, too, is the idea that President Trump wanted to interrupt our allies, Rep. Gosar and Sen. Cruz, while they were presenting our case both to their colleagues and the American public.”
- InfoWars has strong connections to extremist groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers that planned and perpetrated the attack on the Capitol. Joe Biggs, a former InfoWars staffer and Proud Boys member, was arrested on Jan. 20, 2021 for his participation in the Capitol riot.
- Oath Keepers founder Stuart Rhodes also appeared on InfoWars numerous times, including in October 2020 when he warned of a “coming civil war,” said the Left would stage a “Benghazi-style attack” on the White House on election night, and suggested that Trump invoke the Insurrection Act.
- InfoWars has run numerous stories on its website attempting to disparage and discredit the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. For example, in a rampage titled “January 6th Deception Implodes—Watch,” the piece maintains that “your government wants you to know it hates you as they cover up further evidence.” It concludes with the warning that “if we are truly concerned about the future of this Republic, it is Adam Schiff and his fellow conspirators on the January 6th Committee who should truly be investigated revealing the fullest extent of their true intentions and the damage they have already wrought against the American people.”
The Big Lie
- Trump allies regularly appeared on InfoWars to spread false claims of election fraud. During an InfoWars interview in September 2020, Roger Stone claimed without any proof whatsoever that early ballots cast in Nevada were “completely corrupted,” adding that “we can prove voter fraud in the absentees right now” and that “the votes from Nevada should not be counted.”
- InfoWars promoted the debunked Dinesh D’Souza propaganda film 2000 Mules with a video titled New Video Proves Without a Doubt 2020 Election Fraud Was Rampant in Battleground States.
- In August 2021, InfoWars promoted Mike Lindell’s Cyber Symposium, which was purportedly exposing election fraud. A promotional page claimed that the symposium would be “laying out how the globalists stole the 2020 presidential election with evidence from forensics experts and white hat hackers.”
- InfoWars promoted the Arizona election audit in a June 11, 2021 article titled “Biden DOJ Announces War On Election Audits As Arizona Set To Expose Fraud.” While the article doesn’t claim that the audit exposed any fraud, it asserts that because right-wing politicians from around the country traveled to Arizona to study the audit, it was a success.
- InfoWars spread a misleading claim that an election audit in Georgia found “thousands of untallied ballots,” which signaled fraud in the election process. An article on Nov. 17, 2020 called it one of Georgia’s “amazing blunders” that rightly raised questions of fraud. PolitiFact called such comments “mostly false” and noted that while there were some uncounted ballots, the Georgia secretary of state confirmed those were typical errors that can occur during an election and were not signs of fraud.