How to Stop the Spread of Fake News After National Tragedies

Sandy Hook HONR Network

After losing his son in the Sandy Hook shooting, Leonard Pozner has become a prominent activist in stopping the spread of disinformation and conspiracies online.

Five years ago, Leonard Pozner lost his son Noah in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Within days, conspiracy theorists—including a Florida Atlantic University professor—were questioning whether the massacre even happened.

As detailed by New York Magazine and other media outlets, these self-styled “truthers” (though a better term is probably “hoaxers”) hold that some powerful force—the Illuminati, globalists, the New World Order, even the Obamas—staged the shooting with the cooperation of media, government and city residents in order to take away guns and liberty. The slain children were either put into witness protection or never existed, according to their claims. This left Pozner and his fellow Newtown parents and city officials fielding inquiries about whether their kids ever lived at all.

Since then, Pozner has founded the HONR Network, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping hoaxers’ attempts to spread disinformation online after tragedies, like what happened immediately after this week’s Las Vegas shooting on both YouTube and Twitter. Thrive Global contacted Pozner over email to learn more about how Honr does what it does, whether online hoaxing is picking up or slowing down and what it would take to stamp out this particularly disdainful corner of Internet culture for good.

HONR Network Sandy Hook Hoax

BBC Trending: The Sandy Hook Hoaxers

Sandy Hook Hoax

Sandy Hook Hoax

Sandy Hook to Trump: ‘Help us stop conspiracy theorists’

It was one of the worst school shootings in American history, but some people insist that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened.

They post YouTube videos and spread rumours online, and their false theories have been repeated by a media mogul conspiracy theorist who has been linked to Donald Trump.

Now, after years of harassment, the families of the victims are fighting back online.

Leonard Pozner clicks on a YouTube video showing his street and the outside of his home. The camera zooms in on his balcony, and his address and a route to his door flash up on the screen.

There’s no narration on the video – but there doesn’t need to be. The message is clear: “We know where you live.”

Because of videos like this one – there are dozens on YouTube, and more appear ever day – Pozner doesn’t want to disclose the city where he now lives. He’s had death threats and has moved several times in recent years.

HONR Network Sandy Hook Hoax

Sandy Hook Truthers are the worst

Sandy Hook Hoax

Lenny Pozner’s young son died in the Sandy Hook mass killing. Conspiracy theorists believe the killing was staged. Pozner’s efforts to educate them, to prove that his son died, only resulted in relentless trolling and harassment. Yet he keeps trying: “I’m going to have to protect Noah’s honor for the rest of my life,” he says.

To further his cause, Pozner has created an organization, called the HONR Network, whose goal is to “bring awareness to Hoaxer activity” and “prosecute those who wittingly and publicly defame, harass, and emotionally abuse the victims of high profile tragedies.” Since there is no criminal law that protects families like Pozner’s from the darker impulses of the Internet, he and his volunteers — folks he met virtually, when he began debunking — perform a slow and painful task. Whenever a video or a screed appears online attacking the victims of a horrible event, they alert venues like YouTube that their rules have been broken. The victories have been small. Though they’ve removed hundreds of links from the Internet, there are countless more like them.

“I know that the more garbage that is out there, the more it ages over time, the more the myth becomes accepted as a disgusting historical fact that tries to dismiss the existence of my child,” says Pozner. “I mean, damn it, his life had value. He existed. He was real. How dare they.”

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Newstalk 1290 iHeartRadio CJBK speaks with Lenny Pozner

Sandy Hook Hoax

Conspiracy theorists capitalizing on Quebec Mosque shooting?

A hoax-fighting dad of a Sandy Hook victim explains why false flag narratives take root, and how to fight back.

Lenny Pozner, who lost his son in the Sandy Hook shooting and founded HONR, an anti-hoaxer organization, said that he’s not surprised a truther movement was created around the event.

Ad funded Hate Speech on YouTube is not free speech when it is for profit.

Social media driven fake news and hate speech are growing faster than ever before.  

You can help make a difference by alerting large companies of how their money is being utilized.  Ad revenue is being invested into content that emboldens hate speech. Socially responsible companies should seek to avoid driving this ever-growing problem with their ad revenue.  Send a message to these brands that as a consumer you will spend your money with responsible companies that won’t allow their money to promote hate.

Sandy Hook Hoax    Sandy Hook Hoax

Platforms such as YouTube and Google host excessive amounts of slanderous content on the subject of the victims and families of mass casualty incidents, inciting unhinged conspiracy enthusiasts to harass and threaten the people whose lives such tragedies have touched.  Our mission is to make the outrageous and defamatory content against murder victims and their families appearing on powerful social media platforms no longer profitable.
 

HONR Network

Tweet this post to each brand one at a time using the links below

@ATT  — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearings next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.
@verizon — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.
@Nestle — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.
@Walmart — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.
@Starbucks — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.
@LOrealParisUSA — No longer advertises with YouTube because of their brand appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.

Ad funded Hate Speech on Facebook is not free speech when it is for profit.

Social media driven fake news and hate speech are growing faster than ever before.  

You can help make a difference by alerting large companies of how their money is being utilized.  Ad revenue is being invested into content that emboldens hate speech.  Socially responsible companies should seek to avoid driving this ever-growing problem with their ad revenue.  Send a message to these brands that as a consumer you will spend your money with responsible companies that won’t allow their money to promote hate.
HONR Network
Platforms such as Facebook host excessive amounts of slanderous content on the subject of the victims and families of mass casualty incidents, inciting unhinged conspiracy enthusiasts to harass and threaten the people whose lives such tragedies have touched.  Our mission is to make the outrageous and defamatory content against murder victims and their families appearing on powerful social media platforms no longer profitable.
 

HONR Network

 

Tweet this post to each brand one at a time using the links below

 

 

Father of Child Killed at Sandy Hook Says FAU and BOCA Police Ignored JAMES TRACY’S Harassment

Lenny Pozner is the father of a 6-year-old boy who was killed during the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He says he has been harassed constantly since former Florida Atlantic University James Tracy and other conspiracy theorists began popularizing the idea that the shooting was a hoax. Often, harassment comes in the form of “obnoxious” Facebook messages, Pozner says. “Comments like ‘How much money did you make faking all of this?” or ‘Prove your son died by digging up his grave’” — that type of rhetoric.” Even first responders in Newtown get harassed and accused of lying. Little children who look like the ones who died are accused of being the same children, their existence touted as “evidence” of a government conspiracy. Last week, Pozner received death threats, recorded on his voicemail.

“It all comes from this group’s primary agitators,” Pozner says via phone, meaning Tracy (who gets taken seriously because he “has ‘PhD’ after his name) as well as his like-minded conspiracy theorists Wolfgang Halbig and Holocaust denier Jim Fetzer (a retired professor).

Though Tracy has been fired, Pozner can’t believe that Florida Atlantic University administrators let him continue to teach for so long. “I’m relieved that they finally took action, but it’s long overdue,” Pozner says. “Turning a blind eye to Tracy’s indiscretions for so long is unconscionable. They’ve been stepping over dead bodies for three years. I’m disgusted.” He was dismayed that the Schmidt Family Foundation gave the university a $16 million gift in 2014 with Tracy still on staff.

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Sandy Hook Massacre 3rd Anniversary:Two parents target FAU conspiracy theorist

IT’s been three years since we last embraced our precious little boy, Noah. At six-years-old, he was the youngest child murdered at the. While our family may have managed to live through this tragedy, the passage of time has nowhere near dimmed the vivid memory of that day nor made it any less difficult for us to cope with the pain and anguish of losing our only son.

The heartache of burying a child is a sorrow we would not wish upon anyone. Yet to our horror, we have found that there are some in this society who lack empathy for the suffering of others. Among them are the conspiracy theorists that deny our tragedy was real. They seek us out and accuse us of being government agents who are faking our grief and lying about our loss.

Each new high-profile act of violence inspires more conspiracies and creates new victims of harassment and defamation, whether it be the Boston Bombing, the terrorist attacks in Paris or the most recent massacre in San Bernardino, CA. In that instance, a lawyer for the family of the shooters said Sandy Hook did not happen. And don’t get us started on Donald Trump and his rantings on the Alex Jones radio show. It is obvious by the demographics of the show’s audience that Trump appeared as a guest looking for votes from the conspiracy crowd.

HONR Network Sandy Hook Hoax

Father of Little Boy Murdered at Sandy Hook Speaks

Sandy Hook Hoax

The loss of a child is a pain few parents can imagine. For those whose children were brutally murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, that incalculable grief has been made worse by a group of conspiracy theorists who have accused them of being actors in an elaborately staged hoax.

Among the few surviving family members who have spoken out against these accusations is Lenny Pozner, whose son, Noah, was among the 26 women and children killed that fateful morning.
In an exclusive interview with this AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter, Lenny opened up about his ongoing struggle to address the myths and falsehoods surrounding the SHES tragedy, his attempts to meet with the so-called “truth seekers” who have been spreading those lies and the resistance he’s faced at every turn.
“I used to entertain conspiracy theories until I found myself at the center of one,” said Lenny. “That’s when I really woke up and realized that some are more interested in propagating fear than getting at the truth.”
Although these hoax theories primarily flourished on obscure websites and YouTube videos in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Lenny said they attracted a much larger audience after radio host Alex Jones virtually endorsed them in a video segment posted on his website.

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