Internet trolls are ruthlessly attacking Parkland survivors on social media
The student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School probably never expected to become household names before reaching voting age. They also probably never expected their school to become nationwide news in the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in our country’s history.
Ever since the survivors of the Parkland shooting began to mobilize for the cause of better gun laws and ending school shootings, they’ve been in the spotlight. Sadly, being that famous means people feel the need to criticize you on social media — and the detractors of these brilliant teens don’t seem to care that the people they’re trying their hardest to take down are literally children. Traumatized children, at that.
The most egregious example of this group’s willingness to have basically no decency — or brains — is the rapid spread of a fake video of Parkland activist Emma González. In the original video, González is shown in a clip for Teen Vogue tearing apart a gun range target. In the doctored up internet troll version, she’s tearing up the United States Constitution.
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
The original image was an empowering statement about kids refusing to be the target of gun violence any longer, but of course, NRA supporters twisted it to fit their own sick narrative.
"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
Even more disturbing than the fact that someone felt the need to create this fake footage was that many thousands of people were only too happy to believe it was real.
She ripped up the constitution. I care not what she says.
— Odin (@BrandonBEP78) March 24, 2018
There are simply no words for how vile these attacks are — over something that isn’t even true.
I will happily tell you, Dennis. Most internet-savvy teens probably knew immediately that this footage was fake. The kids are leading us because the adults have failed — and the adults have failed because some of them are morons.
#EmmaGonzalez Sorry but shredding the constitution makes her a commie and a liberal tool, but keep telling us how children know better than adults
— Dennis G (@DGardener11) March 24, 2018
Oh I’m betting a month from now, her already-massive Twitter following will have doubled, actually. No one’s forgetting this brilliant young woman any time soon.
To all the people making #EmmaGonzalez a false prophet please stop. This girl would abolish the constitution if she could. If you want to live like that there are plenty of Socialistic countries to head to. I'm betting in a month from now most will not even remember her name 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/U7QS7vJ1NC
— MARTY COUNCELBAUM (@WALSTGUY) March 24, 2018
Apparently not as clueless as the gullible idiots who fell for this literal fake news.
— osPatriot®American (@osPatriot) March 24, 2018
But the fake footage of González is only a small piece of the repulsive bullying aimed at these kids on social media since they started speaking out — by fucking adults. And those of us who aren’t horrible bullies have had about enough. Thankfully, the Parkland student activists have gotten plenty of support from sane adults amid the gross attacks from the right.
So many nasty comments about #EmmaGonzalez from grown ass men.. 😂😂 GO EMMA!
— RPG🦅 (@DukeAlexanderr) March 24, 2018
“Linda the NRA supporter” has a new anonymous account tweeting 600 times per day & is spreading a photoshopped pic attacking #EmmaGonzalez. Put your real names on your accounts if you want to troll teenagers. Y’all are so full of shit. pic.twitter.com/bYBJyFTtfM
— Erin Gallagher (@3r1nG) March 24, 2018
Have you guys ever twitter searched #DavidHogg & #EmmaGonzalez? You should. They are getting so much abuse from "adults", NRA/gun owners & Cult 45. And they keep going. Where do these teens find the strength? I'm in awe of them.#MarchForOurLives #Resist pic.twitter.com/im2N5VWjsR
— nicki 🤓 (@nickiknowsnada) March 24, 2018
If you believe the biggest threat to our nation are the survivors of a school massacre, it’s time to question the validity of the political philosophy that brought you to that conclusion.
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) March 26, 2018
“The Parkland kids are paid actors and can’t be trusted!” say the people who photoshopped an image of Emma Gonzalez tearing up the constitution and tried to pass it off as real, causing her to receive death threats a month after surviving a mass shooting.
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) March 26, 2018
The verbal attacks from the political right towards Parkland massacre survivors to defame and dehumanize these young people only shows their enormous amount of fear of what's to come in the 2018 midterms. pic.twitter.com/R3rDdOSNRK
— 🦋 𝒞𝒶𝓉𝒽𝓁𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝐵𝓊𝓇𝓀𝑒 🦋 (@ItsMeCathi) March 26, 2018
Sadly, we live in a world where there are people who actually doubt the sincerity of those Parkland kids, and the profound grief that inspired it. I don’t understand the lens through which that is even a possibility. I do know those folks need to GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN!!!
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) March 26, 2018
.@TwitterSupport-No one should have a verified profile and be allowed to call a survivor of the Parkland shooting a member of the “Hitler Youth.” I shouldn’t have to say that out loud. That should be a given. This type of rhetoric and hate toward @davidhogg111 is pathetic. https://t.co/QhQV5IPe2u
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 26, 2018
The Parkland teens have become adults in a space of weeks… while Trump hasn’t achieved the feat in 71 years.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) March 26, 2018
This about sums it up.
There are Republicans in Congress attacking high schoolers who just experienced a mass shooting.
Let me say that again.
Republicans in Congress are attacking high schoolers from Parkland. Why? Because these GOPers are pathetic un-American cowards who are gonna lose in November.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 26, 2018
Yes, it seems grown adults are so terrified of these brilliant, articulate teens who are demanding change that they’ve resorted to tearing them down on social media.
These attacks are repulsive and need to end, but their deeper meaning is somewhat encouraging. If they didn’t feel so threatened by the passion and brilliance behind the Parkland students and the #NeverAgain movement, they wouldn’t feel the need to stoop so low.
Keep on keeping on, kids. Believe it or not, some of us adults aren’t completely awful and are only proud of the incredible work you’re doing.