Politifact names conspiracies about Parkland students as 2018's 'lie of the year'

Politifact on Tuesday declared various false conspiracy theories and smears directed at the survivors of the February shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school as the publication's "lie of the year" for 2018.

The fact-checking website wrote that the false claims circulated about the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stood out because of how vicious they were.

"In another year of lament about the lack of truth in politics, the attacks against Parkland’s students stand out because of their sheer vitriol," Politifact said in announcing its choice.

"Together, the lies against the Parkland students in the wake of unspeakable tragedy were the most significant falsehoods of 2018. We name them PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year."

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The outlet cited a host of conspiracies about some of the survivors, including false claims from far-right personalities and a few politicians that David Hogg and other students were "crisis actors" who did not actually attend the school.

Politifact also cited a doctored photo that purported to show student Emma Gonzalez ripping up the Constitution. The real image, which appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue, showed Gonzalez ripping up a target for practice at a gun range.

"At least there was this," Politifact wrote on Tuesday. "During a time of so little bipartisanship, the attacks on the Parkland students set off a shared outrage in nearly all political corners."

The outlet cited tweets and comments from Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Trump issues order to bring transparency to health care prices | Fight over billions in ObamaCare payments heads to Supreme Court Ex-Obama counterterrorism official: Huawei could pose security threat to international intelligence community The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate MORE (R-Fla.), Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchLawmakers spar at testy Mueller hearing Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (D-Fla.) and Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocrats call for restraint, oversight as Trump reportedly calls back Iranian strike Report: Iranian officials say Trump warned them attack was imminent Trump approved Iranian strike before pulling back: report MORE (D-Calif.) denouncing the conspiracies about the Parkland students.

The students were at the center of a renewed debate over gun laws this year after a former classmate opened fire at the high school on Feb. 14, killing 17 people and wounding several others.

The Parkland students organized the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C., which, along with rallies organized in cities across the country, drew hundreds of thousands of people calling for an end to gun violence.

Politifact also announced that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE's comments during the midterm campaign that Democrats wanted to welcome migrants into the country and offer them the benefits of citizenship was selected as the lie of the year for its readers' poll.