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Twitter is battling ‘targeted abuse’ of Florida school shooting survivors
Coral Springs Talk/Flickr (CC-BY)
Twitter announced Wednesday that it’s working to derail “targeted abuse and harassment” toward survivors of the high school shooting that killed 17 people last week in Parkland, Florida.
Following the deadly attack, many of the surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been outspoken via Twitter and other social media, calling for gun control measures and criticizing right-wing responses to the shooting. In return, the students have faced online harassment, abuse, and conspiracy theories.
Twitter said the harassment directed toward Parkland survivors “goes against everything we stand for at Twitter, and we are taking action on any content that violates our terms of service.”
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. We have also verified a number of survivors' Twitter accounts.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 21, 2018
The social media giant added that it’s using anti-spam tools to “weed out malicious automation around these individuals and the topics they are raising,” such as calls for gun control. Some survivors’ Twitter accounts have also been verified to help combat harassment.
One of the students who has been most vocal after the attack, David Hogg, has been accused of being an FBI plant, a crisis actor, and most recently a felon. Conservatives have pushed the theories via Reddit and YouTube.
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.