The world knew Alex Jones was responsible for defaming the parents of the children who died at Sandy Hook Elementary after a Connecticut judge issued a default judgment against him. The 2012 mass murder of 20 children, six educators, and the attacker's mother was a "government operation" that Jones talked about on his radio show. He repeated the lie for the first time.

The world didn't know how much Jones would have to pay to make the Sandy Hook families feel bad as they mourned their dead loved ones.

The families of Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut have been awarded over a billion dollars in damages. Jones is learning the price of free speech that allowed him to warp reality in a web of lies. There are lessons for the platforms that allowed Jones to rise.

According to a US constitutional law scholar at the University of Florida, this is an enormous jury award in a defamation case. Jones profited from lies about murdered children, and the jury was angry about it.

The judgement sends a message to anyone thinking of disrupting people's lives for financial gain that they should think twice. Stephen D. Solomon is a journalism professor at New York University and the founding editor of First Amendment Watch.

The jury that decided the financial punishment for Jones seems to have listened to the words of the lawyer for the Sandy Hook families. In his closing argument, Mattei said that it was his job to make sure that he understood the damage he had done.

The decision could mark the end of a decade of users spreading misinformation on social media with few consequences, as platforms were reluctant to censure them.

It took more than five years for Jones to be banned from social media. At the time, one report covered social media's inaction as a "timeline of vacillation." By the time platforms acted, Jones had already built his media empire, and his followers were prepared to follow him. At one point, Jones paid himself $6 million a year, and court documents show that he made $800,000 a day from his followers. It was built on lies and enabled by social media platforms that turned a blind eye because they wanted attention. The families of Sandy Hook victims were the focus of Jones's attention, as he claimed that their children were crisis actors and the losses were not real. Even as they tried to grieve their losses, Jones turned his audience against them.