UPDATE: The harassment of Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors is ongoing, with more death threats being hurled at young teens who just lived through horrific trauma.
Last week, Cameron Kasky announced he would be taking a hiatus from Facebook amid the threats. Now, the mother of his classmate, David Hogg, has spoken out, claiming her family has been targeted with death threats as well, Newsweek reports.
After having to publicly defend himself against accusations of being a "crisis actor," right-wing, pro-gun trolls have resorted to other attacks.
“I'm under so much stress," Hogg’s mom, Rebecca Boldrick, said. "I'm angry and exhausted. Angry, exhausted, and extremely proud."
Twitter and YouTube are reportedly taking steps to crack down on the social media harassment and cyber-bullying the survivors are dealing with.
Google — which owns YouTube — said it removed several videos mentioning Hogg that violated the site's harassment policies.
“We recognize the challenging issues presented by hoax videos and the pain they can cause the families who have suffered these incredibly tragic losses," the Google statement said.
Twitter also announced that it was “actively working on reports of targeted abuse” by verifying several students’ accounts, including Hogg’s, as a means of solidifying their credibility.
"We are also using our anti-spam and anti-abuse tools to weed out malicious automation around these individuals and the topics they are raising," the company said.
How heartless must one be to wish death upon kids? These attacks are disgusting, however, the survivors must not allow this to deter them from continuing to fight for gun control for themselves, their families, and in honor of all their friends who lost their lives.
A 17-year-old Florida school shooting survivor is saying goodbye to Facebook after receiving death threats from anti-gun control trolls on the platform.
Deeming the trolls “NRA cultists,” Cameron Kasky explained his decision to leave Facebook on Twitter.
"Temporarily got off Facebook because there's no character count so the death threats from the @NRA cultists are a bit more graphic than those on twitter," Kasky wrote.
Temporarily got off Facebook because there’s no character count so the death threats from the @NRA cultists are a bit more graphic than those on twitter. Will be back when I have the time for it. Busy getting my feelings hurt by fellow teenagers at Br**tb*rt— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) February 21, 2018
According to The Independent, Facebook maintains that it removes harassing content immediately once moderators are aware of it, however, the social network has been criticized before for not being more on top of the issue.
"We want Facebook to be a safe and respectful environment," a spokesperson wrote in an email to The Independent. "Bullying and harassment run counter to those goals, and have no place on Facebook or Messenger. We remove this content as soon as we’re made aware of it."
In the days since the shooting occurred, Kasky has been very open with his pleas for gun control to prevent more massacres. He even penned an op-ed for CNN in which he slammed the NRA and the Republican Party.
"I'm just a high school student, and I do not pretend to have all of the answers," Kasky wrote. "However, even in my position, I can see that there is desperate need for change — change that starts by folks showing up to the polls and voting all those individuals who are in the back pockets of gun lobbyists out of office."
Kasky is one of many outspoken Marjory Stoneman Douglas students to be harassed since the shooting. Fellow teens David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez have also been targeted by right wingers who are spreading a conspiracy theory that they are "crisis actors" who are paid to pretend to be mass shooting survivors to ramp up the fight for gun control.
Earlier this week, political commentator Dinesh D'Souza also faced the wrath of Twitter for mocking a group of Parkland shooting survivors on Twitter after a photo of them overcome with emotion at the state capitol went viral.
This behavior toward these teens is unacceptable. Regardless of their stances on guns or the political climate, they are still children who do not deserve to be crucified by foul-mouthed adults. These survivors have already lived through a nightmare in which their lives were at risk, so to be receiving death threats and to be slandered all over the internet is only adding to the trauma.
Those who have attacked these kids in any way should be ashamed of themselves. Luckily, Kasky is only doing away with Facebook and not completely discouraged from continuing to speak out about much-needed gun control reform.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters, Carlos Garcia Rawlins