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."


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 RubioGOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters Murkowski: Treatment of White House protesters 'not the America I know' Rubio: Protesters outside White House 'deliberately stayed to trigger police action' MORE (R-Fla.), Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Judge rules Florida can't block felons from registering to vote because of unpaid fines Trump taps members of Congress to advise on reopening MORE (D-Fla.) and Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTed Lieu responds to viral video: 'Costco has a right to require that customers wear a mask' Bipartisan Senate group offers new help to state, local governments California Democrat blasts Huntington Beach protesters: They 'undoubtedly spread the virus' 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 TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? 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.