A freakish Parkland conspiracy video topped YouTube's trending list

The conspiracy theory gained even more traction after Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., liked two Twitter posts sharing far-right media stories, including one from True Pundit under the headline "BUSTED: Trump-Hating School Shooting Survivor Visited CNN HQ Before the Shooting; Ranted Live on CNN After".

Some claim he's an actor planted by CNN.

Students who survived the Florida school shooting have been mocked and targeted by conspiracy theorists who claimed they were "crisis actors" only pretending to have been caught up in the violence.

Hogg's father said he was proud of his Federal Bureau of Investigation service and seemed to deny any conspiracy in the response to the shooting. The most popular, which was removed at around 11AM Eastern time, appeared to be a simple re-upload of the local news segment, but the description makes its goal clear: "DAVID HOGG THE ACTOR".

The title of the video in question, which YouTube pulled down at about 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, was "DAVID HOGG THE ACTOR". "Unlike the people who are tweeting that stuff about me and my dad, I haven't lost hope in America and my dad hasn't either", the teenager admits.

The conspiracies spilled into the ranks of government, too.

Kelly was sacked later that day. Still more claim he is actually from California, NOT Florida.

Some extreme right-wing websites are claiming he is not a Parkland student but instead an actor with an agenda.

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While the school's policy keeps it from confirming a student's enrollment - consider this, fellow Douglas students ran to Hogg's defense online, as did US Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

The Florida high school student was asked about the conspiracies during a Tuesday night interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, where he said the claims about him were "absolutely disturbing".

"Midterms are coming up", he concluded, "I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican so long as you support somebody that wants some form and some step in some sort of direction where we're trying to save kids' lives, what can be more nonpartisan than that?"

Harrison later tweeted that his aide had been fired, and that he was "appalled" at the comments.

"I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge", he said on Twitter.

But Corcoran, who said Harrison immediately contacted him, deemed Kellys email appalling: "On behalf of the entire Florida House, I sincerely apologize to the students targeted and again commend them for their courage through this unspeakable tragedy".

Pressure on lawmakers to enact tighter gun rules has increased in recent days as Stoneman Douglas students organised a national campaign. "I am not an actor in any sense, way, shape or form".

  • Michelle Webb