Debunking the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that the Texas school shooting was a false flag operation
- A baseless
conspiracy theoryposits that the Texasschool massacre was a false flagoperation.
- Messages on QAnon-linked Telegram groups falsely claimed that the shooting was staged.
A baseless conspiracy theory is brewing in
The ridiculous claims began brewing on Telegram groups hours after the attack, with QAnon influencers weighing in on the massacre that has claimed the lives of at least 21 people, including 19 children.
QAnon John, now known as "The Ultra Patriot Voice," posted on his Telegram group hours after the shooting, drawing attention to what he baselessly claimed was "an endless amount of false flags and mass shootings" in Texas. He asserted that "gun seizing fever dreams" were driving people to attempt to ban firearms "through fear and force."
Another prominent QAnon influencer, Ann Vandersteel, also posted about the Ulvade attack, claiming without basis that it was fake.
"Does America have the stones to call it what it is? A false flag shooting to take our guns. Child sacrifice is part of the agenda and a means to the end. It's SICK #uvaldeshooting," wrote Vandersteel.
That idea then spread within a day to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's Infowars show, when a caller suggested to Jones that the timing shooting appeared to coincide with the National Rifle Association's upcoming convention in Houston.
"You don't think this was done to demonize the Texas Republicans and the NRA?" the unnamed caller said.
"It's very suspicious timing," Jones said, questioning how the shooter got "all that money" to buy his guns.
Jones then suggested that everyone should be able to question the attack "because there's been so many false flags, so many provocateured operations."
According to The New York Times, there have also been social media posts claiming that some parents affected by the shooting did not appear to be emotional enough in
Another piece of misinformation was spread when GOP Rep. Paul Gosar touted a baseless, transphobic rumor that the gunman was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien."
The false claim originated from messaging board 4chan and involved pictures of three trans women being shared — without their consent — in an attempt to substantiate these false allegations.
The Texas massacre was not the first time a
Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Jones made baseless claims that the incident was a hoax staged for the benefit of gun control campaigners and that the killings never actually occurred. He has since lost four defamation suits filed by families of Sandy Hook victims and his Infowars platform has filed for bankruptcy.
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