On Saturday, Emma González delivered a poignant speech at the March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest for gun control that she and her classmates organized. The speech ran the same amount of time as it took Nikolas Cruz to open fire at her high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, before he abandoned his weapon and slipped out with other students. For most of the time that she addressed the crowd, Emma went silent, giving us one of the most powerful moments of the day. But as many discussed the importance of her quietness, some distributed an image of her tearing up the constitution. However, the image is that has now widely been circulated online is a fake. Pro-National Rifle Association (NRA) trolls have spread the image to make the teen appear to be in stark opposition to the foundations of the country.
A few days before March for Our Lives, Emma and her classmates graced Teen Vogue’s digital cover, where she rips up a shooting target. The loop summarizes what Emma and her fellow activists have been fighting for in the last few weeks. Phillip Picardi – Teen Vogue’s chief content officer – took to Twitter to speak out against those sharing the doctored image.
“The fact that we even have to clarify this is proof of how democracy continues to be fractured by people who manipulate and fabricate the truth,” Picardi wrote on Twitter. “It’s also among the most unfortunate parts of our work at @TeenVogue when we give young people a platform, we want to elevate their voices. Sometimes, that means subjecting them to hatred and vitriol. The attacks being lobbied against Emma follow the all-too-familiar patterns: she’s an opinionated woman, she’s Latinx, she is queer. Some say those are strikes already against her when confronting the establishment.”