Hundreds of thousands of advocates for gun reform participated in March for Our Lives rallies in all 50 states this weekend, with one of the largest demonstrations happening in Washington, D.C. Emma González, a survivor of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., gave a stirring and emotional speech at the rally.
On conservative social media, however, a fake image of González was being spread:
Not gonna happen. pic.twitter.com/4kKBcSqdCl
— Gab: Free Speech Social Network (@getongab) March 24, 2018
Leading up to the March for Our Lives, González wrote an op-ed for Teen Vogue and participated in a digital cover and video for the publication. The images and video feature her ripping apart a gun-range target—an obvious symbol of the gun violence she and other gun-reform activists around the country are trying to fight.
One far-right account on Twitter, Gab, posted a doctored image that replaced the gun-range target with the U.S. Constitution. The GIF was widely circulated after the account posted it Saturday.
The image was shared enough times that it concerned Teen Vogue Chief Content Officer Phillip Picardi, who took to Twitter to straighten things out and call out the conservative accounts for their targeted harassment of González.
Picardi displayed a side-by-side of the original image of González and the photoshopped one spread by “so-called ‘Gun Rights Activists,’” as Picardi deemed them.
“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 continued in his thread.
He also noted how González, who has emerged as a leading face of the post-Parkland fight against gun violence, would draw bitter criticism from conservatives.
“The attacks being lobbied against Emma follow the all-too-familiar patterns: she’s an opinionated woman, she’s Latinx, she is queer,” Picardi tweeted. “Some say those are strikes already against her when confronting the establishment.”
The conservative Twitter account, Gab, clarified later that the photoshopped animation it posted was “obviously a parody/satire.”
“You’re all mad because it’s believable, isn’t it? That’s the best type of satire. It’s a comedic reflection of reality,” the account wrote.
Blogged by Deja Miller