Awful New Details About The Conspiracy Theories Targeting Parkland Shooting Victims And Why People Think They're 'Crisis Actors'

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Awful New Details About The Conspiracy Theories Targeting Parkland Shooting Victims For Being "Crisis Actors"
Entertainment And News

People actually believe these students are paid actors.

The children speaking out and calling for stricter gun control laws after being victims of the Parkland school shooting are being labeled as “crisis actors” in recent conspiracy theories.

Social media posts saying the FBI or Democratic Party are using child actors to promote their agendas have gone viral.

"In the conspiracist mindset, everything is potentially a deception," David Carroll, an associate professor of media design at The New School, said in an email to NBC. "And a supposed secret cabal that orchestrates the liberal conspiracy against the American right-wing would have to involve paid actors, who allegedly appear at staged school massacres, as an elaborate hoax performance to justify gun confiscation."

In a video that has since been removed from Facebook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg is accused of being a crisis actor because he had been interviewed by CBS in California last August and was present at the school shooting on Valentine’s Day.

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Facebook took the video down because it violated the site’s content policy, but the damage was done. It had been shared over 111,000 times.

“Images that attack the victims of last week's tragedy in Florida are abhorrent," Mary deBree, head of content policy at Facebook, told NBC in an email. "We are removing this content from Facebook."

A conspiracy video claiming Hogg was paid to act as a student at the Florida high school was the number one trending clip on YouTube. The top 10 trending videos included eight conspiracy videos about the Parkland shooting and YouTube a spokesperson claimed they should not have been there and have been taken off of the trending list.

"This video should never have appeared in Trending," the spokesperson wrote in an email to NBC. "Because the video contained footage from an authoritative news source, our system misclassified it. As soon as we became aware of the video, we removed it from Trending and from YouTube for violating our policies. We are working to improve our systems moving forward."

Many people were quick to lash out at those calling the activist students “crisis actors.”

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"These are absolutely students at Stoneman Douglas. They've been there. I can verify that," Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told the Tampa Bay Times.

Benjamin Kelly, an aide to state Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, was fired after he emailed the link to a conspiracy theory clip to a Tampa Bay Times reporter.

"I've been terminated from the State House,” Kelly tweeted on his account that is now private. “I made a mistake whereas I tried to inform a reporter of information relating to his story regarding a school shooting. This was not my responsibility. I meant no disrespect to the students or parents of Parkland."

Marco Rubio defended the victims of the Parkland shooting and called anyone who believes they are paid actors “idiots.”

The outspoken kids trying to reform gun laws unleashed their anger and frustration about the conspiracy theories they are being put in.

The theories were widely spread because Hogg began interviewing students as the shooting was happening, but Hogg said he was just following his passion.

"I want to show these people exactly what's going on when these children are facing bullets flying through classrooms and students are dying trying to get an education," Hogg told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "That's not OK, and that's not acceptable and we need to fix that."

Hogg explained that he wanted to document the “sheer terror” he and his peers experienced in order to show the world someone needs to take action.

"If I was going to die, I wanted to die doing what I love, and that's storytelling," he told CNN. "And this is a story that needed to be heard. ... At least our echoes, our voices would carry on and possibly make some action."

He went on to demand change, much like the other victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"It's a midterm year and it's time to take action," Hogg said. "I don't care if you're a Democrat. I don't care if you're a Republican. Stand up for what you believe in. Let's make some compromises and save some children's lives."

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