Far-right conspiracy theorists are now targeting Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg with both a blatantly false attack involving a yearbook photo they claim proves he did not attend the high school and another false claim that he is actually a 26-year-old who was once arrested in SC. Marco Rubio, Students and a teacher all rush to defend David Hogg as a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Student.
Searching Hogg's name on YouTube also pulled up a large quantity of other conspiracy videos perpetuating the idea that he was a paid actor who was hired to help dismantle U.S. legal rights to bear arms.
The two students are among those who have become the faces of a new movement for gun control and campaign for a ban on assault weapons in the state after they witnessed one of the deadliest shootings in their country's history. According to Variety, the video, entitled "DAVID HOGG THE ACTOR....", was reportedly removed at approximately 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning. At the time of the video, he was visiting California, where his family used to live, he says.
YouTube said the video slipped through the cracks because the source material was from a credible news organization. It quickly became the number one trending video on YouTube before users called for it to be removed. "We are working to improve our systems moving forward", a YouTube spokesperson told CNBC.
Shortly after the incident, news reporters interviewed David Hogg, a 17 year-old student who was lucky to escape the murder-spree unscathed.
The far-right publication published photos, claiming to be of Hogg, both at a CNN newsdesk and wearing a CNN T-shirt before last week's shooting.
On Tuesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Hogg to respond to the tweets, which accused him of attacking the NRA and Republicans as a way of defending his father, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
"I was a witness to this", David Hogg said.
There's also an interview of Hogg on a Los Angeles CBS Station back in August. This kid David Hogg somehow find his way in front of a camera from coast to coast, fm CA to FL!
The conspiracy theories have spilled into the ranks of government, too.
Hogg, who has been interviewed numerous times by national networks, has been a particular target of critics as the students' gun-control efforts have gained traction.
Conspiracy-minded websites are claiming Stoneman Douglas High students are crisis actors hired to stir up controversy.
Mary deBree, head of content policy at Facebook, said: "Images that attack the victims of last week's tragedy in Florida are abhorrent".