The image, posted to a Facebook page filled with false and satirical images, is an 11-year-old photo of Britney Spears, taken in the era when she was hounded by paparazzi after cutting her hair. It shows Spears holding an umbrella midair, about to attack a photographer’s car.
But the tongue-in-cheek caption proclaims that the photo is of González, the 19-year-old student who has become an outspoken advocate for gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The caption says: “Emma Gonzalez attacking a 2nd Amendment supporter’s truck at a March For Our Lives rally, (2018, colorized).”
The satirical image is making fun of the haters who believed another viral fake photo of González, which was doctored to depict the activist tearing up a copy of the U.S. Constitution. The image drew the ire of conservatives against the Parkland students’ #NeverAgain gun control movement.
This image (left) being spread by guns rights activists is FAKE and a photoshopped image of @Emma4Change tearing up the Constitution. She’s actually tearing up paper target in the pic (right). Spread the word. pic.twitter.com/pWa1X1Xvka— Samhita Mukhopadhyay (@TheSamhita) March 25, 2018
While plenty of people saw the humor in the satirical Spears/González meme, many others missed the joke and believed the photo to be of González. Comments disparaged the student activist, with one person calling her a “sick little militant protestor” and another claiming if the attack was on his car, “she would be 6 ft down.”
As BuzzFeed News pointed out, some trolls took the image so seriously that some appeared to be trolling themselves—but the livid comments don’t appear to be coming from bot accounts.
The angry commenters not only missed the point of the photo; they also missed the Facebook page’s “About” section, which blatantly states that it’s “a collection of the satirical whimsies of liberal trolls masquerading as conservatives.”
Even some Parkland-supporting commenters appeared to miss the point, realizing the photo was of Spears but not that it was posted to a left-leaning satirical site.
Others who were in on the joke tried to explain the person in the photo isn’t actually González. Some just trolled the trolls.
After this whole mess, there’s just one thing to say: Leave Britney alone—and Emma González, too.