David Hogg, a student journalist-turned activist, was the focus of an unfounded conspiracy theory that he was a "crisis actor"

By Elaine Aradillas
February 27, 2018 02:24 PM

Since the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, David Hogg has become a prominent voice for the student-led movement against gun violence.

Hogg, 17, is a senior who teamed up with other Parkland students determined to prevent another school shooting from happening again.

The suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is in custody and is being held without bond. He has not entered a plea after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder — one for each person he allegedly killed.

After the shooting, Hogg, a student journalist, made numerous television appearances hoping to get his message out.

Here are five things to know about David Hogg.

1. Hogg, a Student Journalist, Made a Video About Gun Laws During the Shooting

Hogg huddled with his classmates inside a classroom during the shooting. As a student journalist, he decided to pull out his phone and interview fellow students about gun violence prevention.

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“The fact that this has happened so much, that school shootings have happened so much, to the point that we need drills for them almost as often as fire drills is unacceptable,” he said during his video. “I call on the legislators of this country to take action and stop, stop this from happening. Thousands have died from gun violence and it’s time to take a stand.”

He added, “Take a stance for human lives, children’s lives.”

2. He Became the Focus of an Unfounded Conspiracy Theory That He Was a ‘Crisis Actor’

A week after the shooting, an edited video began circulating across various social media platforms, which implied Hogg was a paid “crisis actor” coached by his father, a former FBI agent. As the unfounded theory began gaining steam, Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet linking to the post.

Hogg was quick to dispel the unfounded theory.

“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in a phone interview with the Washington Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”

David Hogg
Rich Schultz/AP/REX/Shutterstock

3. He Believes Conspiracy Theorists, Despite Their Intentions, Helped Promote His Message

On Sunday morning, Hogg appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources program. He was asked about how he felt about dealing with conspiracy theorists. Surprisingly, he thanked them.

“These people that have been attacking me on social media, they’ve been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people,” he said. “People have continued to cover us in the media. They’ve done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them.”

RELATED VIDEO: Emma Gonzalez & Other Florida Student Activists Explain the Gun Reform They Want to See on Ellen

4. He Is Calling for a Boycott of Florida for Spring Break

Hogg has pleaded with tourists to pick a different destination other than Florida for their upcoming spring break trip — unless legislation to prevent gun violence is passed.

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“Let’s make a deal DO NOT come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed,” he wrote on Twitter. “These [politicians] won’t listen to us so maybe [they’ll] listen to the billion dollar tourism industry in FL.”

5. He Has Pledged to Boycott School Unless Gun Legislation Is Passed

Students are scheduled to return to school on Wednesday for the first time since the mass shooting. One person who, as of now, doesn’t plan to be there is Hogg.

“I’m not going back to school on Wednesday until one bill is passed,” Hogg said at gun control rally Sunday in New Jersey, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Hogg is making appearances across the country promoting his cause and demanding gun legislation.

“Literally any legislation at this point would be a success. Considering the fact that so few legislators in Florida met with us and they want the people to forget, that’s disgusting,” he said. “The fact that they want people to forget about this and elect them again as the child murderers they are, that’s unacceptable and we’re not going to let that happen.”

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