An altered image showing Parkland school shooting survivor Emma González ripping up the Constitution has gone viral on social media, specifically gaining traction in right-wing circles. In actuality, the Teen Vogue feature shows the teen ripping up a gun-range target.
The magazine’s chief content officer Phillip Picardi took to Twitter Sunday to debunk the viral image, calling it the work of “Gun Rights Activists.” The Washington Post reported that conservative actor Adam Baldwin gave the GIF a signal boost Saturday when he posted it to his Twitter with the phrase “#Vorwärts!” the German word for “forward”—and a possible reference to the Hitler Youth (a phrase that was trending on the platform Sunday).
“The fact that we even have to clarify this is proof of how democracy continues to be fractured by people who manipulate and fabricate the truth,” Picardi also wrote. “From where we stand, these are even more reasons we have to listen to what she’s saying and continue our unwavering support.”
At left is @tyler_mitchell’s photo of @Emma4Change for the cover of @TeenVogue. At right is what so-called “Gun Rights Activists” have photoshopped it into. #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/jW6tTOv2Db
— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) March 25, 2018
Last week, González, 18, wrote an op-ed in the teen magazine where she calls for stricter gun laws following the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed 17. The article includes several images, including one of her ripping up a gun-range target.
In addition to switching out the gun-range target with the Constitution, New York Magazine noted that the GIF was also altered to make González appear to have dark circles around her eyes. While the image is believed to have originated on Twitter, Don Moynihan, departing director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tweeted that it’s nearly impossible to verify where it first hit the Internet.
"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. This is only the beginning." @Emma4Change pens a searing op-ed on this generation's plans to make change: https://t.co/MV34GJgrdI #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/FWTpOD1WKL
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) March 23, 2018
[Featured Image: Emma González/Teen Vogue (Twitter)]