A number of hoaxes and misinformation have surfaced on social media after the school shooting in Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
As is the case in the direct aftermath of any serious mass shooting in the United States, online trolls have begun circulating the same type of hoaxes online, especially on Twitter.
1. Sam Hyde’s photo appears again
As is often the case with these types of shootings, Internet trolls have taken the photo of Internet comedian Sam Hyde and falsely claimed it to be a photo of the shooter. The Stoneman Douglas shooting is no different, and the below post showing Sam Hyde has been circulated by a fake Bill O’Reilly twitter account. While the shooter has been identified by police as Nikolaus Cruz, this photo is not him.
The below screenshot of a video, which at the time of writing as accumulated well over 60,000 views, also shows Sam Hyde and NOT the shooter Nikolaus Cruz.
A photo of Nikolaus Cruz being put into a police car has been used by trolls to claim there was a second shooter, with the primary shooter identified as Sam Hyde. Again, this isn’t true. There is only one reported shooter at the time of writing, Nikolaus Cruz, who is shown in the photo being put into a police car.
2. Mistaken identity
Users on social media who share the same name (or a similar name) as the identified shooter have reported having their social media profiles falsely identifying them as the shooter. Others have reported getting death threats. As is typical in these events, the real perpetrators social media accounts were taken offline shortly after the incident.
Please don’t share social media accounts of people you believe to be involved, especially without verification.
3. Fake missing people
Again as is run-of-the-mill with these cases, trolls posts photos of Internet personalities claiming they are missing as a result of a shooting or attack. The below photo id of a popular YouTube blogger who runs the channel TheReportOfTheWeek. His photo is often used in the aftermath of attacks like this claiming he is missing, for example in the aftermath of the Manchester Bombings. He is not missing.
4. Cruz is not seen here wearing an Antifa t-shirt
The below image does not show Nikolaus Cruz, and there is no known connection at this time between Cruz and Antifa. The man below is called Marcel Fontaine.
5. This isn’t a real Buzzfeed headline
A screenshot of a BuzzFeed News article with the headline Why We Need To Take Away White People’s Guns Now More Than Ever is spreading. The article isn’t real and never appeared on Buzzfeed. The headline was changed – it originally read At Least 17 People Are Dead In A Florida School Shooting. The author’s name was also altered, from Salvador Hernandez to Richie Horowitz.
Remember not to trust everything you see on the Internet, especially if it concerns a recent mass shooting. We will update this page as more fake news and misinformation appears.