David Hogg is a 17-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting that killed 17 people Feb. 14. Since the shooting, Hogg and other student survivors have become vocal advocates for gun control in the United States.

They also have become a target of conspiracy theorists on the internet and social media. These people question the legitimacy of the students’ activism and claim they are paid actors working with public relations experts.

The fact that Hogg’s father, Kevin, is a retired FBI agent adds to the conspiratorial line of thinking, since the FBI acknowledged it didn’t investigate tips on Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooting suspect.

The conspiracy claims have no basis in fact. Here’s proof Hogg is a student at Stoneman Douglas High School.

“I am not a crisis actor. I’m somebody that had to witness this and live through this and I continue to have to do that,” David Hogg told Anderson Cooper. “The fact that some of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School … are showing more maturity and political action than many of our elected officials is a testament to how disgusting and broken our political system is right now in America. But we’re trying to fix that.”

Hogg added: “Unlike those people that are tweeting that stuff about me and, unlike the people that are tweeting the stuff about my dad, I haven’t lost hope in America, and my dad certainly hasn’t, either.”

On Wednesday, a trending video on YouTube, titled “DAVID HOGG THE ACTOR….” fed the conspiracy theory before the video was removed from the social media platform for “violating YouTube’s policy on harassment and bullying.”

The aftermath of the shooting has introduced Stoneman Douglas students to the polarized state of U.S. politics in 2018. But the student survivors remain resolute in their fight for sensible gun legislation, and momentum continues to grow for the #NeverAgain movement. On March 24, the students will lead the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., part of a nationwide demonstration to call for an end to gun violence and mass shootings in U.S. schools and to demand that lawmakers enact new gun control policies.


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