Lenny Pozner and his family moved from Connecticut to Florida after his 6-year-old son Noah was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Pozner had hoped for some peace, but that’s far from what he got.
Since his son died, Pozner says he’s been constantly harassed by people who believe the shooting never happened. “Hoaxers,” he calls them.
Wednesday marks the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Last week, the federal Department of Justice indicted Lucy Richards, 57, of Tampa for threatening Pozner.
According to a federal indictment, Richards left voicemails for Pozner in January, telling him, “Death is coming to you real soon.” She now faces four charges that could land her 20 years in jail. For Pozner, the charges are a relief.
“I was very glad that she’s finally facing consequences for what she had done,” he said.
Pozner says Richards was an extreme case, but certainly not the only one. He blames the Internet for enabling hoaxers to spread misinformation about Sandy Hook and its victims on a global scale.
“I will get 15-year-old, 20-year-old kids telling me that I’m going to get tried and imprisoned for treason and, you know, how much money did I make off of this, and it’s a lot of hate,” he said. “They are absolutely certain that they are in the right, and they are part of this army of light.”
Pozner says four years after the shooting, the situation has only gotten worse.
“The only thing that I’ve noticed, there are more websites, there are more people, and they’re more brazen and they’re more comfortable with making these fantastical claims,” he said.
Pozner first tried to address the hoaxers by helping people who were debunking Sandy Hook conspiracy theories. But when it became clear some people would just never be convinced, Pozner switched gears.
He started the HONR Network. It’s working to remove false claims about Sandy Hook and other mass shootings from the Internet. The organization targets websites like Facebook and Google as well as their advertisers. The task has not been easy.