Rumors that students who survived last week’s deadly gun massacre at a Florida high school are crisis actors continue to persist despite overwhelming evidence refuting the claims.
According to a report in Think Progress, attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland said Thursday that they believe student activists calling for a discussion about gun safety are hired actors to promote a liberal anti-gun agenda — just like those who claimed to have witnessed the Sandy Hook mass shooting in 2012, they say.
Think Progress spoke to Tabitha Jackson, 20, and Teresa Taborga-Urquiola, 21, at the convention on Thursday, and both women said they had seen evidence on Facebook that survivors of the February 14 gun massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are paid crisis actors.
“There was like pictures online of the different crisis actors in Sandy Hook and it was the same person in Parkland, or something like that,” Jackson told the news outlet.
“I honestly wouldn’t be surprised, with how much they try to push their anti-gun agenda, if they were to hire crisis actors.”
Jackson, a college student, reportedly said that she saw “proof” and “pretty good evidence” that at least one of the students is a crisis actor.
“On Facebook, there’s a lot of videos of those people talking,” Taborga-Urquiola said. “It’s emotional stuff.”
Representatives from Facebook are attending CPAC at a booth the company purchased. Policy Communications Manager Nu Wexler refused to discuss the crisis actor conspiracy theories circulating on the platform with Think Progress.
Later, Facebook’s head of content policy Mary deBree gave a statement to the outlet:
“Images that attack the victims of last week’s tragedy in Florida are abhorrent. We are removing this content from Facebook.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, at one point Wednesday the most popular video on YouTube claimed that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg was not actually a student at the high school, and had already graduated from another school in California a year before. While visiting California in 2017, Hogg appeared in a local news report after he witnessed a confrontation between a beachgoer and a lifeguard. To some conspiracy theorists, this was proof positive that Hogg was not actually a Florida resident and must have been a paid actor. Hogg has spoken out against the rumors, with the support of fellow teachers and students, along with Senator Marco Rubio, who posted a message on Twitter Wednesday criticizing those who were attacking the shooting survivors.
Claiming some of the students on tv after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 20, 2018
[Feature Photo: David Hogg/CBSLA Screenshot]