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False Conspiracy Theory Prospers After Texas Shoots in Familiar Patterns | Texas School Shooting

It is now as predictable as a call for thought or prayer. As the United States rebounds from another mass shooting, false information about barbaric conspiracy theories and genocide swirls online.

This happened after a school shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, a shooting at Parkland in 2018, violence at a nightclub in Orlando, and a deadly rampage at Buffalo’s grocery store this month. rice field.

Within a few hours on Tuesday School shooting in Yuvalde, TexasAnother rash began when Internet users spread unfounded claims about a man named Gunman and his possible motives on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media platforms. The false allegations were accompanied by a familiar conspiracy theory suggesting that the entire shooting was somehow staged.

According to fake information expert Jaime Longoria, this claim reflects a wide range of issues regarding racism and intolerance to transgender people, and the incidence of online harassment and hate crimes is already high. It is an effort to blame the shooting against minority groups.

“This is a tactic that serves two purposes. Avoid the actual conversation about the problem. [of gun violence]And it gives patties to those who don’t want to face reality, it gives them someone to take responsibility for, “said Disinfo Defense League, a non-profit organization that works to combat the false information of racists. Said Longoria, the research director of.

A few hours after the shooting, a post that falsely claimed that the shooter lived in the United States was infected with the virus, and some users added decorations such as “running away from border patrols.”

“He was an illegal alien who wanted to be murdered from El Salvador,” read one tweet that he liked and retweeted hundreds of times. “This was the blood in Biden’s hands and should never have happened.”

The 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a man who said the authorities shot, is a US citizen, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott said at a news conference.

Other social media users confiscated images of innocent Internet users, misidentified them as shooters, and claimed he was a trance. On the online bulletin board 4Chan, users were free to share photos and discussed plans to label the shooter as a transformer without evidence to support it.

A Twitter post that was subsequently deleted showed a trans woman holding a green bottle in her mouth, looking into the camera, and hanging headphones from one ear. “Breaking News: The Shooter’s Identity Has Been Revealed,” the user claimed, adding that the shooter was a “Fenboy” with a YouTube channel.

None of that was true. The photo is of a 22-year-old named Sabrina who actually lives in New York City. Sabrina, who requested that her name not be disclosed due to her privacy concerns, confirmed to the Associated Press that the photo belonged to her and said she was not affiliated with the intended YouTube account. rice field.

People living in Yuvalde, Texas are sad. Photo: Chandan Kanna / AFP / Getty Images

Sabrina said she received a reaction of harassment on social media, especially a message claiming she was a shooter. She responded to many posts that disseminated the image with misidentification and asked her to remove her post.

“The whole test is just horrifying,” Sabrina told AP.

Another widely distributed photo shows a trans woman in a Coca-Cola sweatshirt and black skirt. The second photo shows the same woman wearing a black Nasa shirt with a red skirt. No shooter was seen in these pictures either. It belonged to a Reddit user named Sam who confirmed her identity to AP on Wednesday. AP does not use Sam’s name to protect Sam’s privacy.

“It’s not me. I don’t live in Texas,” Sam wrote in a Reddit post.

Authorities have not released information on the sexuality or gender identity of the shooter.

Arizona Parliamentarian Paul Gosar applied both unfounded claims about Ramos to one deleted tweet that misspelled the archer’s name. “It’s Salvatore Ramos, an illegal transsexual left-wing alien,” Gossar tweeted Tuesday night.

Gosar’s office did not return a message asking for comment.

In some cases, false information about mass shootings and other incidents is disseminated by well-meaning social media users who seek help. In other cases, it could be the work of a glyphter trying to launch a fake fundraiser or draw attention to their website or organization.

Then there is the troll. According to Ben Decker, founder and CEO of digital research consultancy Memetica, Fringe’s online community, including 4chan, is an opportunity to disperse mass shootings and other tragedy, disrupt the masses, and drive harmful stories. I often use it.

“Celebrating these types of incidents is also very intentional and intentional, as they influence what the mainstream conversation really is,” Decker said. “There is a nihilistic desire to prove ourselves in these types of communities by successfully vandalizing the masses. Therefore, if we can lead a campaign that leads to such results, we can trust within the group. Improves sex. “

But for communities that are blamed for such malicious online attacks, false accusations raise fears of further discrimination and violence.

Jayden Janak, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas and a junior fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, said that something that looks harmless, like Transphobia’s comments on social media, is violence against transgender people. He said it could cause action.

“These children and adults who were killed yesterday were just living their lives,” Janaku said Wednesday. “They didn’t know that yesterday would be their last day. Similarly, as trance people, that’s the fear we always have.”

False Conspiracy Theory Prospers After Texas Shoots in Familiar Patterns | Texas School Shooting

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