How the Florida school shooting conspiracies spread

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 23, 2018

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student David Hogg, who witnessed the massacre in which 17 students and teachers were killed, is one of a number of youngsters to have called for tougher gun control laws in the wake of the latest mass shooting at a U.S. school.

How did a fake news video posted by a user with virtually no profile become the number one trending video on one of the internet's second most popular website?

An aide to Florida State Representative Shawn Harrison was sacked Tuesday after he falsely accused the two students of being actors, the New York Times reported.

A CNN investigation into 4chan's /pol/ archive counted at least 121 times that school shooting survivor David Hogg was mentioned on the board.

Debunked and rebuked: conspiracy theories that claimed some of the students from the Parkland shooting are paid actors.

As reported by the Washington Post, Hogg - who has made a name for himself by passionately calling for gun control since surviving the shooting - has been targeted by conspiracy theorists since his initial TV interviews discussing the mass shooter who gunned-down 17 people at his high school. There were also big viewer numbers for videos claiming that Texas church shooter Devin Kelley had ties to far left groups.

During an interview about the suggestions Hogg said: 'Unlike the people who are tweeting that stuff about me and my dad, I haven't lost hope in America and my dad hasn't either'.

YouTube does not have humans curating the Trending list, as trending lists appear all over the world, but the source added that humans are a part of training YouTube's algorithms, along with other systems that are used to suggest videos.

Youtube said it removed one conspiracy video it had promoted in its "trending" section and Facebook said it would remove content attacking the victims.

"This video has been removed for violating YouTube's policy on harassment and bullying", a note replacing the clip read Wednesday afternoon. "We've seen improvements, but in some circumstances these changes are not working quickly enough", YouTube said in a later statement.

Hogg, a student journalist and one of the movement's most visible faces, and Gonzalez, who called out Trump over his links to the National Rifle Association in an impassioned televised address last weekend, have been on the receiving end of particularly fierce attacks. "(I guess he transferred?)" The clip showed Hogg being interviewed in 2017 in Redondo Beach over an incident between a friend of his and a lifeguard.

Hogg also told CNN that he doesn't "want to take a constitutional right away from American citizens".

It's evidence of nothing more than Hogg's location this summer, and that he sometimes carries around a device with a camera on it.

"People like Donald Trump Jr., the president's least-favorite son, are perpetuating this kind of stuff", Kimmel said in his opening monologue Tuesday. Its popularity on YouTube came from that context, and YouTube's algorithms were not able to catch it. And those who watched the original video were shown related content that focused on the same subject. Marco Rubio was put on the defensive Wednesday by angry students, teachers and parents who are demanding stronger gun-control measures after the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school.

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