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 RubioLiberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE (R-Fla.), Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchGun epidemic is personal for lawmakers touched by violence House panel advances anti-gun violence legislation Gun debate to shape 2020 races MORE (D-Fla.) and Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTed Lieu congratulates first Asian American cast member on 'Saturday Night Live' Ocasio-Cortez renews impeachment call amid probe involving Trump's Scotland property Oversight panel investigating Air Force crew's stop at Trump property in Scotland 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 TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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.