US hoax trials spotlight misinformation profiteer

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Washington (AFP) – American radio host Alex Jones reaped millions spouting conspiracy-laden falsehoods that helped drive up sales of products like libido boosters, exploiting an internet ecosystem that experts say makes misinformation a lucrative business. Jones, a serial provocateur who founded the far-right website InfoWars, has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages for calling a 2012 mass shooting in an elementary school –- which left 20 first graders and six adults dead — a “hoax.” Defamation cases in Texas and Connecticut against Jones have spotlighted the challenge of curbi…

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