Over the weekend, Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez went silent for six long minutes to honour the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Real Quick: my speech today was abt 6 mins & 30 secs, including both my speech and my silence. The fact that people think the silence was 6 minutes... imagine how long it would have felt if it actually was 6 minutes, or how it would feel if you had to hide during that silence
- Emma González (@Emma4Change) March 25, 2018
However, while the 18-year-old activist and icon has since being praised on her powerful moment of protest and bravery, the student has now become the victim of doctored footage of her ripping up the US Constitution.
On Saturday, videos of Gonzalez tearing up a gun-range target were lifted from a Teen Vogue story about teenage activists and photoshopped to show her ripping up the Constitution, widely viewed as the supreme law of the US.
It is believed the altered images were created to spread propaganda that liberal activists like Gonzalez are trying to destroy the very identity of the US.
Here is the original footage:
"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
Here are the doctored images:
Justy a sample of what NRA supporters are doing to teenagers who survived a massacre (real picture on the right). pic.twitter.com/czX7IHD8ur
- Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) March 25, 2018
Creators of the photoshop job have also been accused of whitewashing Gonzalez, making her eyes appear darker and changing the shape of her head.
Interesting that they whitewashed her.
- (((MK ULTA))) (@malkatz) March 25, 2018
They used high contrast to make her look more hardened and cruel.
- AltPaul (@realaltpaul) March 25, 2018
I looked at it more closely and they even changed the shape of her head. It seems more square than her oval face. Just look at how her skull protrudes more just above her right ear (that's on our left). Man, the lengths they're going to... Smh
- AndrogynousPyroTiger (@LittlePyroTiger) March 25, 2018
The animation was shared across conservative US Twitter accounts on Saturday afternoon, following the #MarchForOurLives protest in the US capital.
Actor Adam Baldwin even tweeted the clip to a quarter of a million followers with a hashtag reading '#Vorwärts!', which is the German word for 'forward' and an apparent reference to the Hitler Youth, whose march song included the phrase.
Unfortunately, the doctored footage appears to have gained more traction than the original images.
However, it has also resulted in several celebrities and liberal activists calling out the fakes online, warning for the public to stay vigilant when it comes to fake news.
A post shared by Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) on Mar 25, 2018 at 4:22pm PDT
Last month, Twitter revealed it was actively taking down tweets abusing and harassing Parkland survivors who have suffered a torrent of insults since speaking out against current gun-control regulations in the US.
We are actively working on reports of targeted abuse and harassment of a number of survivors of the tragic mass shooting in #Parkland. Such behavior goes against everything we stand for at Twitter, and we are taking action on any content that violates our terms of service.
- Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 21, 2018
The news comes amid an announcement that BBC journalists including Huw Edwards and Tina Daheley are to visit schools to teach children how to identify fake news.
The initiative has been designed to tackle false information that the corporation says 'threatens fact-based public debate and trust in journalism'.
This serves as a poignant reminder not to believe everything you read or see online.
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