Survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been enduring a new type of assault since the harrowing ordeal that claimed 17 lives on Valentine's Day -- online trolls and cyber-bullies.
Hey @FLOTUS you say that your mission as First Lady is to stop cyber bullying, well then, don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your step-son @DonaldJTrumpJr before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which in turn put a target on my back— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) February 23, 2018
The teenage survivors-turned-activists have been fielding conspiracy theories and accusations that they're simply "crisis actors" who were never at the school to begin with.
We are KIDS - not actors. We are KIDS that have grown up in Parkland all of our lives. We are KIDS who feared for our lives while someone shot up our school. We are KIDS working to prevent this from happening again. WE ARE KIDS.— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) February 20, 2018
If you come for teen survivors of a mass shooting with conspiracy theories about crisis actors, be prepared to get trolled right back pic.twitter.com/HWDZTCcL2f— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 25, 2018
The students have also been subject to insults about their appearance, sexual orientation and race.
["Brown bald lesbian" is the shameful nickname of choice for bullies who make it their mission to go after Emma Gonzalez, who has been one of the most prominent faces of the #NeverAgain movement.]
Okay, you caught me. I’m a Crisis Actor brainwashed by the left. They chose me because I played Iago, Mr. Potato Head, and King Triton in camp musicals as a kid.— Adam Alhanti (@AAlhanti) February 21, 2018
Shockingly, even their very lives have been threatened.
The Associated Press writes:
"University of Maryland professor Danielle Citron, who studies online harassment, said such internet mobs are meant 'to silence and to intimidate' and to 'shut down a social movement in its tracks.' But Citron said the younger generation, who are steeped in social media, can be resilient."
Temporarily got off Facebook because there’s no character count so the death threats from the @NRA cultists are a bit more graphic than those on twitter. Will be back when I have the time for it. Busy getting my feelings hurt by fellow teenagers at Br**tb*rt— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) February 21, 2018
“They see us as a threat. And honestly, that’s kind of entertaining to me. And I love it because it means what we are doing is working. We are changing the world,” David Hogg said of the trolls to MSNBC on Wednesday.
As bullying has been pinpointed as a root cause of mass shootings in general, I find it appalling and incredibly hypocritical that anyone would find it appropriate to respond to any of the students in this type of manner -- even if you adamantly disagree with their ideas on gun control.
What do you think about all of this?
Parkland Students=you are brave, we love you and the people attacking you are trashy trolls. Their nastiness is a sign you are under their skin. Keep it up— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) February 20, 2018
I've read a bunch of trolls saying the survivors of #Parkland shooting aren't "acting" like they just lost friends. WTF people? - When one of my daughter's friends died before 9th grade, I invited the girls to our house so they could make cookies & have fun. --Back off trolls!— Amanda Blount - Veterans Against The NRA (@amandablount2) February 25, 2018
Brave survivors of the Parkland school shooting are speaking out, and alt-right trolls are creating ridiculous and untrue conspiracy theories: pic.twitter.com/saV8Kw8j0e— The Root (@TheRoot) February 23, 2018
You know, when I said I wanted the real world to be more like Harry Potter I just meant the teleportation and the magic stuff, not the entire plot of book 5 where the government refuses to do anything about a deadly threat so the teenagers have to rise up and fight back.— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) February 22, 2018
If you or someone you know is a victim of bullying, please visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/index.html for helpful resources.
GOP aide fired after calling Parkland student activists "actors" https://t.co/C4GN58LdlK— 🗽Jeffrey Levin🗽 (@jilevin) February 21, 2018
I love when people accuse me for speaking on the behalf of only popular people like I wasn’t having friday night puzzle parties with my friends before this.— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) February 25, 2018