Yet another indignity for Alex Jones: The conspiracy theorist, InfoWars honcho, YouTube pariah, and man currently embroiled in legal battles with the grieving families of Newtown school shooting victims is being forced to pay a settlement to Matt Furie, creator of the Pepe the Frog character, after Jones used his likeness in a poster he sold during the 2016 elections. The settlement, as per Gizmodo, will be $15,000, plus the promise that he’ll never use Pepe again.
Pepe the Frog has been one of the stranger stories of the Trump era, which is saying something.
When Furie was created him back in 2005, Pepe was simply a laidback, anthropomorphic frog who talked about how things are cool and stuff. But the internet makes everything weird. As early as 2008, he’d become a meme shared on the likes of 4chan and Gaia Online. By 2015, Pepe was associated with the alt-right, neo-Nazis and other far-right activists.
Furie was, as one can imagine, not happy with his character’s evolution, and after pulling the character from circulation, he sent cease and desists to the likes of Richard Spencer and the Daily Stormer. Furie also filed suit against InfoWars, who had placed the chill frog in a murderers row alongside the likes of Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, Roger Stone, Kellyanne Conway, Matt Drudge, and, of course, the then-future president of the United States.
Jones did try to counter Furie’s lawsuit, claiming fair use. Evidently that did not work, and the $15,000 settlement covers the $14,000 InfoWars made from the poster’s sale. As for the extra grand, Furie will donate that to an amphibian charity, namely Save the Frogs. Meanwhile Jones and InfoWars have been de-platformed from Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Twitter, greatly limited his reach online.