- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
- A doctored photo of Parkland shooting survivor Emma González has gone viral on social media, the latest example of the sustained right-wing attacks on teenage shooting survivors.
- Fake videos and photos of González tearing the US Constitution in half circulated on right-wing and alt-right social media accounts.
A doctored photo of Parkland shooting survivor Emma González has gone viral on social media, the latest example of the sustained right-wing attacks on the teenagers who have been leading the movement for gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Florida last month.
González, an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, has become one of the most prominent faces of the movement and delivered an emotional speech at the Washington March for Our Lives on Saturday – a speech that lasted just over six minutes, the amount of time it took for a gunman to kill 14 of her classmates and three staff members.
Over the weekend, fake videos and photos of González tearing the US Constitution in half circulated on right-wing and alt-right social media accounts. Gab, a social network favored by the alt-right that has 100,000 Twitter followers, tweeted a GIF animation adapted from a Teen Vogue video of González tearing a gun target poster in half, replacing the target with the Constitution.
Hours later, Gab admitted the GIF was a “obviously a parody/satire,” but the animation was retweeted 65,000 times.
Not gonna happen. pic.twitter.com/4kKBcSqdCl
— Gab: Free Speech Social Network (@getongab) March 24, 2018
Actor Adam Baldwin tweeted the fake GIF with the word “#Vorwärts!” – the German word for “forward” and likely a reference to the Hitler Youth.
Donald Moynihan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, debunked one of the fake images, noting that it was shared by a Twitter user named “Linda NRA Supporter,” an account that was later suspended and was likely a bot.
Justy a sample of what NRA supporters are doing to teenagers who survived a massacre (real picture on the right). pic.twitter.com/czX7IHD8ur
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) March 25, 2018
When one Twitter user asked Gab if they knew the fake image was being tweeted and believed by “millions,” the account responded, “Good lol.”
While Twitter has said it is using anti-spam tools to “weed out malicious automation” as a way to protect the Parkland students from online attacks, this latest episode indicates that the site’s efforts have fallen short.
"In just a few weeks’ time, we, the youth of the United States, have built a new movement to denounce gun violence and call for safety in all of our communities. And this is only the beginning." #EmmaGonzalez writes our March cover story — a rallying cry for all of America's children. Link in bio. ????: @tylersphotos Makeup: @gracegraceahn Styling: @cocostyle1 Hair: @rubi_jones