Here Are The Hoaxes And Conspiracies Still Going Around About The Parkland Students
The teens who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida became huge targets for online misinformation. And it's still happening.
1. Emma González did not tear up a copy of the United States Constitution.
This GIF was originally tweeted by the official account for Gab, a social network popular with the alt-right and others. Although the Gab account later said it was "obviously satire," the fake GIF took on a life of its own and spread across social media, where many people believed it was real.
The original video was posted by Teen Vogue. In it, González is tearing up a shooting target.
2. David Hogg did not do a Nazi salute at the end of his March for Our Lives speech.
One article, originally posted to the unreliable health website Natural News and then republished by InfoWars, called the March for Our Lives a "Hitler youth invasion." However, none of these articles include any evidence whatsoever.
Marty Golden, a New York senator, even fired a member of his staff for sharing similar posts on social media. Hogg simply raised his fist during his speech.
3. David Hogg was in school during the Parkland shooting.
Reports about David Hogg not being in school at the time of the shooting have gone viral, but they're not true.
This hoax seems to have been popularized by right-wing websites. Red State, a conservative news site, published a false report claimed the student was being inconsistent in his descriptions of the shooting. It was based on a CBS interview in which Hogg says he got his camera at home and rode to campus on his bike as quickly as he could.
Red State later updated its article with correct information, including a video of Hogg hiding in the closet during the shooting, as well as a link to the Vox article that explained that the student went home after the attack and then came back to campus.
However, despite the update by Red State, other websites kept publishing the false story. One site that hasn't corrected it, Silence Is Consent, amassed nearly 140,000 Facebook likes, shares, and comments, according to social media tracking tool BuzzSumo. Many similar websites have also left their stories uncorrected.
4. Emma González did not attack a car with an umbrella.
This image, posted by a Facebook page that claims to be satirical, is actually just a 2007 photo of Britney Spears.
5. This crudely photoshopped Time magazine cover of Parkland shooting survivors is not real.
The original Time cover does not include any communist symbols and only has the word "enough" on the front.
6. David Hogg did not tweet an anti-gay message in 2016.
This fake image was seemingly created by a 4chan user and spread on Twitter. Hogg never tweeted "fuck fags and their fag marriage," and the font on the fake tweet does not match the one used by Twitter.
Almost immediately after Parkland students started speaking out for gun control, far-right websites claimed they were crisis actors. One post by Gateway Pundit promoting the false theory got over 100,000 Facebook shares, likes, and comments. The hoax also spread via memes and videos posted to YouTube and Facebook.
It's not true. Superintendent Robert Runcie, among others, dispelled the conspiracy. He also confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that they "are absolutely students at Stoneman Douglas."
8. Yes, Emma González really did have a Cuban patch on her jacket.
One of the sticking points for people trying to discredit Emma González was the Cuban flag patch she wore during her March for Our Lives speech. Some are using the patch as proof that González supports a violent communist regime in Cuba.
However, when her dad spoke to South Florida House Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, he said his daughter "is proud of her dad and abuela’s Cuban heritage and in no way was it a sign of support for the Castro dictatorship," according to tweets from Ros-Lehtinen.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz also pointed out on Twitter that "Cuba’s flag has been used by the country since 1902, before they adopted communism."
The crisis actors hoax and the Time magazine cover featured Parkland shooting survivors. A previous version of this post mislabeled them as victims.