Debunking 3 Viral Rumors About the Texas Shooting

Rumors about the gunman and what had taken place spread widely online — often with easily debunked evidence or none at all — almost immediately after the first official reports about the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Here are three of the most prominent rumors that have spread on online platforms such as Twitter, Gab, 4chan and Reddit.

1. No, the shooting was not a staged ‘false flag’ operation.

Hours after the attack on Tuesday, far-right figures spread misinformation claiming that the shooting was a “false flag” attack. Among their unfounded claims were that the shooting had been orchestrated to draw local law enforcement away from the border, allowing criminals and drugs to cross into the United States, and that gun-control advocates had organized the tragedy to stoke public outrage.

Other social media posts alleged that parents shown in news clips awaiting news of their children appeared to be insufficiently emotional and were crisis actors being paid to play a role. The two teachers who were killed were also accused of being crisis actors.