People are sharing a fake picture of a Parkland survivor tearing up the US Constitution
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, it is teenagers, rather than politicians, who are leading the way for increased gun control. This past weekend, two million people marched across America, in what was the largest student protest in US History. The anti-gun protest, March for Our Lives, galvanised a new push for firearm reform - in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting - a tragedy which has since been described as a potential tipping point for greater gun control.
Along with survivors from the attack in Parkland, Florida, speakers included young victims of gun violence from around the United States. Waving colourful banners, and singing and chanting, these teenagers challenged their parents' conception of gun violence.
The figurehead for this movement was, of course, 18-year-old Emma González. The Parkland shooting survivor, who took to the stage at Washington DC's march, commanded the crowds by naming the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and then she fell silent.
"Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds," she said, breaking her silence. "The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job."
A survivor of the Parkland, Florida shooting and leader of the #NeverAgain movement, Emma González, has been targeted by internet hoaxers, after a video emerged of her purportedly ripping up the US Constitution.
The GIF of González quickly made the rounds on Twitter, after being shared by verified and unverified users alike. NRA advocates naturally flocked to social media to disparage the young activist for the seemingly unpatriotic gesture. "I'm interested to hear what US citizens think of this photo where Emma Gonzalez is ripping up The Constitution," one Twitter user wrote in response.
The photo and GIF, which are fake, were taken from a Teen Vogue cover story about the student activists behind March for Our Lives. The original images show González tearing apart a target shooting poster.
Teen Vogue's chief content officer, Phillip Picardi, took to Twitter to set the record straight. "At left is @tyler_mitchell’s photo of @Emma4Change for the cover of @TeenVogue," he wrote. "At right is what so-called “Gun Rights Activists” have photoshopped it into."
"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," he continued.
Donald Moynihan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, also voiced his opinions on social media, asserting that the fake image was "Just a sample of what NRA supporters are doing to teenagers who survived a massacre (real picture on the right)".