David Hogg was able to survive a shooting at his high school last week that left 17 others dead, and now the 17-year-old is facing a new threat after right-wing smears claimed that he was a “crisis actor.”
Hogg has emerged as one of the most vocal activists among the Stoneman Douglas High School survivors, the leader of a group speaking out in favor of stricter gun control after the alleged suspect used an AR-15 rifle to kill students and staff at the school. But at the same time, there has been a movement among the far-right corners of the internet to label Hogg as a “crisis actor,” with claims that the shooting may have been faked and that he was planted as a way to push for stricter gun control.
Now, some of the people backing that theory are going after David Hogg and his family. As Mediaite reported, the teenager and his family are receiving death threats from “pro-Second Amendment individuals” who are buying into the claims that he is a crisis actor and that the school shooting was a “false flag” in order to push for gun control.
As Mediaite noted, the far-right site Gateway Pundit is among those leading the charge claiming that David Hogg is a crisis actor. The site, which was identified as one of the major sources of “fake news” during the 2016 election, has claimed that David Hogg is being coached and “merely reciting from a script” when he makes calls for stronger gun control measures.
This comes amid a larger push among right-wing conspiracy outlets to claim that the students speaking out are crisis actors. Much of this push has been coming from Trump-supporting outlets, including Reddit’s Trump fan subreddit The_Donald and 4chan’s /pol/ page, which has been identified as a haven for white supremacists. These outlets have not only claimed that the school shooting is a false flag attack and that the students are crisis actors, but have also taken to mocking the students for their appearances and political views.
"I witnessed this event. Why are you doing this to me?" Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg is having to defend himself after false conspiracy theories about him being a "crisis actor" have gotten hundreds of thousands of views online. https://t.co/7WvVQtQQ6K pic.twitter.com/m545XWMUQS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 22, 2018
David Hogg’s mother, Rebecca Boldrick, told the Washington Post that the family has started to get death threats on the internet and that it has added new stress for the family.
David Hogg's mom reveals family targeted by death threats over gun activism: 'I’m angry and exhausted' https://t.co/Id9QVMIa1o
— Peter the FollowBack Kid Ω (@Pajjr2016) February 22, 2018
“I’m under so much stress,” she said. “I’m angry and exhausted. Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
David Hogg has denied claims that he is a crisis actor and said he will not let the death threats silence him.