In Wake Of Pizzagate Shooting, Parent Of Sandy Hook Victim Describes Harassment He Faced From Conspiracy Theorists
Len Pozner: “They're Projecting Hate On To People”
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From the December 8 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
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ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): I think, you know, for most Americans, they probably don't have much idea of the kind of vitriol that's out there by a very small number of people, but are directed toward not only you, but other parents of kids who were killed at Sandy Hook, anybody who reported on Sandy Hook. There are all these people who, frankly, don't believe that Sandy Hook happened.
LEN POZNER: Well, a lot of people say that it's a small number that think this way, but my experience tells me it's not a small number of people. It's a small number of people that are as vocal about it. A lot of people just keep it to themselves.
It's an expression of, -- there's hate. It's online hate, and it's kind of like -- I describe it as a thought virus, because it -- this hoax concept just continues to spread. So, with every, you know, mass casualty event or with every public incident, it's immediately labeled a hoax by this certain circle of people that are on the web.
And there are a lot of forces that drive them. I mean, they have their YouTube channels, could be monetized, their blogs could be monetized. I know that with the mass casualty event in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, there were hoax -- there was hoax content coming out while the shooting was still going on.
COOPER: You created an organization, a foundation, to try to counter this, to try to get these lies, you know, taken off the web, to try to just inform people about what, you know, what they call themselves truthers, you call them hoaxsters.
POZNER: Right. I don't consider them truthers. When someone says "truthers," that really makes me think 9/11, that's really the term. And as far as Sandy Hook, I -- we've been calling them hoaxsters since, you know, since pretty much the beginning, because they -- first of all, they don't think anything bad ever happens.
They don't think anyone ever gets hurt, so, they think that wherever they see something on the web or on television, that is a crime or mass casualty event, that has to be a hoax. And then, if there is debunking evidence that comes out that shows that they made mistakes, like researchers, like normal researchers, they won't correct their mistakes.
And oftentimes, they start to fabricate their evidence or fudge their evidence or photoshop their evidence, so really they're contributing to the hoax by falsifying the information that they're propagating. So, they're hoaxsters by calling everything a hoax, and then everything that they do after the fact is sort of distributing false information to people.
COOPER: You know -- I mean, I know other parents who have been harassed online, who have been harassed in person. You know -- I mean, this is not -- this is not just happening to you and your family.
POZNER: This happens to anyone, really, online. It's sort of like cyberbullying, but not, you know, within the context of school kids. It's just -- it's in the context of anyone. And -- it's basically just hate. They're expressing, they're projecting hate on to people. And if someone is visible, if someone is a victim of a -- you know, of crime, there -- it's easy to find people these days on the web. So it -- it's easy to gain access to someone.