Emanuel Maiberg, writing for Motherboard:

Update: YouTube has removed the video about three hours after this article was first published. It had more than 200,000 views at the time. Other videos from the same YouTube user spreading the same conspiracy theory are still live on YouTube.

The original story follows below:

It’s a vile conspiracy theory we might expect from the host of Inforwars Alex Jones, but right now it is the number one trending video on YouTube.

The conspiracy theory is that some of the students who are speaking out against the lax gun control laws that enabled the mass shooting that killed 17 of their peers at a Parkland, Florida high school last week are not who they say they are. They are “crisis actors,” paid performers funded by familiar boogeymen like George Soros to vilify gun ownership and dismantle the Second Amendment.


Parkland students come under attack by Republicans for their outspokenness

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors – Alex Leary and Kirby Wilson , Tampa Bay Times

[Benjamin Kelly] an aide to state Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, was fired after emailing a Tampa Bay Times reporter with a stunning assertion: “Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.”

Florida shooting survivors are being targeted by conspiracy theories – Time

Right-wing media uses Parkland shooting as conspiracy fodder – NY Times

YouTube and Facebook are promoting a right-wing conspiracy about a Florida shooting survivor – Business Insider

Florida shooting conspiracy theories trend on YouTube, Facebook – CNET