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Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez targeted with doctored Constitution-ripping GIF

Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 12:47:34-04

(RNN) – Emma Gonzalez, one of the most visible and outspoken survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, FL, was targeted over the weekend with a doctored animation of her tearing up the Constitution.

Gab, which bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter, posted the GIF on Saturday. The social media platform is popular with figures of the far right who have been banned from Twitter.

On Saturday more than 1 million people participated in “March For Our Lives” protests across the country.

In the original version Gonzalez, flanked by other Parkland survivors, tears apart a paper target, typical of those used at gun ranges. That was posted as part of a Teen Vogue op-ed Gonzalez wrote on March 23.

Teen Vogue's chief content officer, Philip Picardi, posted a debunking of the meme on Twitter.

Gonzalez is one of a number of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who have advocated forcefully for change in America’s gun laws since the Feb. 14 shooting.

In her Teen Vogue op-ed, she singled out the NRA: “The pro-gun propaganda peddled by the National Rifle Association feeds myths about gun ownership, and these myths arguably perpetuate the suffering of thousands of Americans each year.”

Gonzalez, 18, also delivered the final speech at Saturday’s rally in Washington, the largest of the “March For Our Lives” protests.

In it, she read the names of those who died in the Parkland shooting, then stood silent for several minutes. “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,” she said at the conclusion.

Gonzalez has been a frequent target of attack for her activism since the shooting. A Republican candidate for Maine’s House of Representatives called her a “skinhead lesbian” and “bald-faced liar” earlier this month. That candidate, Leslie Gibson, withdrew from the race after the backlash to his comments.

Representative Steve King posted a meme to his Facebook page criticizing Gonzalez, as well.

Gab followed up its tweet by calling it “obviously a parody/satire.” It was not, however, readily received that way, spreading on social media networks, often accompanied by angry comments.

The top reply to Gab’s original tweet said: “Nothing says ‘I am NOT a fascist’ like tearing up the greatest symbol of freedom that the world has ever known.”

That tweet received 95 retweets and 722 likes.

The user wrote two replies later: “So it was a fake. I didn’t look close enough initially.” The other user he was replying with wrote back: "Doesn’t matter. That was what they ultimately intended."

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