(Web Desk) – A 14-year-old student who survived the recent mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has pleaded with the first lady of the US, Melania Trump, to stop her stepson Donald Trump Jr. from bullying her and her family on social media.
“You say that your mission as first lady is to stop cyber bullying,” tweeted Lauren Hogg. “Don’t you think it would have been smart to have a convo with your stepson @DonaldJTrumpJr before he liked a post about a false conspiracy theory which … put a target on my back?”
“I’ve been getting all these horrible messages from Nazis and white supremacists and I woke up this morning and remembered that Melania Trump’s mission was to fight cyber bullying,” Hogg told Huffpost on Friday.
“That’s what’s happening to me: cyberbullying. I thought she could do something about Donald Trump Jr.”
Melania Trump vowed shortly before her husband was elected president that if she became first lady, one of her key missions would be to combat online bullying. “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she explained in a speech in Philadelphia.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s eldest son “liked” two tweets promoting a conspiracy theory about Lauren’s 17-year-old brother, David Hogg, another shooting survivor who has become a telegenic advocate for gun-control laws.
Shortly after the shooting, online media sites swelled with false allegations that David Hogg was secretly a “crisis actor” playing the part of a grieving student in local and national television news reports.
The conspiracy reports claim that David Hogg’s father, a former FBI agent, had told his son to “cover” for the FBI’s failure to prevent the school shooting and to speak out against firearms.
The theories circulating about the Hoggs have resulted in death threats against the family, the siblings’ mom, Rebecca Boldrick, told The Washington Post.
David Hogg was not the only one targeted by an online campaign that appeared on anonymous forums such as Reddit before it reached conservative websites and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The falsehoods about Parkland students come even after the technology giants have tried to tamp down disinformation campaigns by hiring thousands of moderators, changing the algorithms that surface information and enacting stricter policies.
Such allegations are a mainstay of conspiracy reports about mass shootings, with some gun rights activists claiming that those favoring stricter gun laws hire actors to pretend to be victims of phony attacks.
“It’s unbelievable to me that these people are even saying this,” David Hogg told CNN. He called Donald Trump Jr.’s support for the conspiracies “disgusting.”