Over the past several weeks, Hoaxers have been up in arms over a tireless effort to wipe their offensive, slanderous and grossly inaccurate content off the face of the worldwide web.
What’s a Hoaxer, you ask?
That’s a word assigned to those who believe that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) massacre was actually a staged U.S. government plot designed to facilitate a strict gun control agenda. Although they prefer to be called “Truthers,” this lunatic fringe of conspiracy theorists has shown no interest in seeking the truth. Theirs is a faith-based cult. They believe in the “hoax” and any evidence that suggests otherwise is regarded as blasphemy.
Ever since news of the killings first broke, Hoaxers have primarily used video hosting venues like YouTube and Vimeo to postulate their absurd conspiracy theories and spew slanderous accusations at those whom they accuse of playing roles in an “elaborate hoax.” As a medium, videos are preferred by Hoaxers for their ability to reach that large TV-watching/movie-obsessed segment of society that’s easily seduced by clever editing and dramatic music and less inclined to verify if the information they’re passively downloading into their brains is rooted in fact.
Although the Internet has been saturated with this nonsense for almost two years, it’s been largely ignored by most clear thinking Americans. That all changed earlier this year when Hoaxers were found among those complicit in a host of illegal and inappropriate activities, including stalking and harassment of victim’s family members and witnesses; bomb threats to schools; thefts of property from victim’s memorial sites; even the murder of law enforcement officers. As a result, these inflammatory works of fiction-proffered-as-fact have come under increased scrutiny and widely viewed as a primary source of inspiration for many of these egregious acts.
Now, those videos are starting to disappear from the Internet. Ask most Hoaxers who’s responsible and they’ll point a collective finger in the direction of one humble entity: the Honr Network. It’s not hard to see how they came to that conclusion. Simply click the link to one of dozens of previously working Hoaxer videos on YouTube or Vimeo and you may stumble across this notice:
“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Honr Network.”
Who’s the Honr Network, you ask?
Take a look at their website, Honr.com, and you’ll find out.
“Most members of society are allowed to grieve in peace, surrounded by an atmosphere of compassion,” the group states. “This has not been the case for many family members of victims who lost their lives to tragic, highly publicized mass killings. It isn’t fair or acceptable. Action must be taken to restore peace and tranquility to those personally affected by the despicable cruelty cast upon them by individuals acting under the ‘truth movement.’”
In other words, they’ve had enough.
The Honr Network is based near the scene of the SHES massacre—Newtown, Connecticut—and is not affiliated with any government organization, special interest group or corporation. Instead, this laudable and long overdue effort is run by a “community of caring individuals” united in a commitment to stop “abusers from inflicting any further harm to people who have committed no crime, and simply want to be left alone to grieve their loved ones and live out the rest of their lives in peace and anonymity.”
Needless to say, Hoaxers have pegged the Honr Network as part and parcel of a grand conspiracy to conceal the “truth” about Sandy Hook. They’re convinced that the group is doing the dirty work of the U.S. government, the Zionists, the New World Order or whatever flavor of supervillain the Hoaxers imagine is perched at the very top of the food chain.
Hoaxers seemingly fail to comprehend that decent society just simply doesn’t tolerate those who exploit tragedies and prey on the victims of violent crimes…or that those targeted in their smear campaigns might not sit idly by as their reputations (or that of their loved ones) are dragged through the mud…or that surviving family members would like to retain the right of remembrance of their lost loved ones without pictures of their son or daughter attached to libelous screeds that misrepresent the lives they once led…or that heads of households might be concerned that their families will become the next victims of violent crime because some gullible sap has been led to believe they were actors in a plot to infringe on his right to keep and bear arms.
Regrettably, fact and reality often elude those who fully embrace the conspiratorial mindset.
Such is the case with those who scream “censorship” after they discover a Hoaxer video has been removed from places like YouTube. Of course this unrealistic argument falls flat in light of the fact that censorship is a function of government, not private companies. Commercial video hosting sites have the right to refuse service to anyone that does not comply with their terms of service. The Honr Network does not simply push a button to make a video disappear. They must submit their complaint to the vendor just like any other consumer. It is then up to the vendor to decide if the complaint has any merit and if the content named in the complaint violates their community standards in any number of ways, including copyright infringement, predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people’s personal information, and inciting others to commit violent acts.
Try and explain this to a Hoaxer and they’ll likely dismiss it, opting instead for a more convoluted and irrational explanation that usually implicates some hidden hand of the shadow government. Even consummate fear peddler and for-profit-patriot Alex Jones couldn’t resist the temptation of linking to a recent Hoaxer video that he knew would be targeted for removal. Alex knows full well how to exploit a tragedy and is a master of manipulating the perceptions of his audience.
While this might be a sad commentary on the state of the so-called truth movement, fixing it is not among Honr Network’s chief objectives. At the end of the day, Honr is less concerned about what Hoaxers think than what they do.
The bottom line is this: Hoaxers can no more justify citing the 1st amendment in defense of their libel and defamations than Adam Lanza would be able to justify citing the 2nd amendment in defense of his killing 26 women and children. Those who exercise their right to free speech bear the responsibility for what they say and the resulting consequences.
The Internet should not be allowed to serve as a safe haven or refuge for scofflaws intent on skirting those responsibilities. For far too long, Hoaxers have used this medium to pilfer intellectual property, manufacture evidence, spread disinformation and terrorize U.S. citizens.
Those days are over.
The time has come that Hoaxers be held accountable for their actions and the noble efforts of the Honr Network are a welcome step in that direction.