Video: How conspiracy theories and attacks on the Parkland shooting survivors spread across the internet and right-wing media

Video: How conspiracy theories and attacks on the Parkland shooting survivors spread across the internet and right-wing media


Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Survivors of the Parkland, FL, mass shooting, in which 17 people lost their lives, are speaking out and demanding action on gun violence. In response, right-wing media figures are spreading conspiracy theories and attacking these students, and online platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, are enabling the spread of these lies. (Videos spreading these conspiracy theories have gone viral, with one video even trending No.1 on YouTube.)

These are some of the conspiracy theories and attacks the right-wing media figures have launched against the students:

  • Infowars' Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist and host of The Alex Jones Show, called the attack "the perfect false flag." (He also claimed that "there's a cover-up going on.")

  • CNN political commentator Jack Kingston doubled down on his earlier tweet that the “left-wing gun control activists” are setting up the Parkland high school students for political reasons. Kingston said on CNN that he doubted these students could plan a rally without “being hijacked” by pro-gun control groups.

  • A Twitter account that regularly peddles in "The Storm" conspiracy theory, accused the students of being “crisis actors” who should be “charged and sent to jail.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)

  • Discredited author Dinesh D’Souza mocked students on Twitter for speaking out.

  • Lucian Wintrich, The Gateway Pundit’s White House correspondent, called the students “little pricks” who are “completely entitled” and are “milking the deaths of their peers for careers.”

  • Tucker Carlson, while interviewing NRATV’s Dan Bongino, claimed anti-gun groups are using the students as “a kind of moral blackmail, where you are not allowed to disagree or you are attacking the child.”

  • TruePartisan, a fringe right-wing site, claimed that student survivor David Hogg, who spoke out about ending gun violence, was a plant because his father formerly worked at the FBI. (Donald Trump Jr. promoted this conspiracy theory.)

  • NRA board member Ted Nugent shared an article on Facebook that claimed David Hogg was “coached by cameraman.” (The post has since been deleted.)

These attacks are nothing new. Whenever there is a mass shooting, right-wing and far-right figures and outlets spread conspiracy theories to avoid talking about the real problem: the need for gun reform. Students are tired of “thoughts and prayers.” They demand an end to gun violence. They want action, and they won’t stop until they get it.

Posted In
Government, Justice & Civil Liberties, Guns
NRA TV, Fox News Channel
National Rifle Association
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