False Flag Conspiracists Harass Las Vegas Shooting Victims

By on November 4, 2017

It’s hard enough for those shot by mass murderer Stephen Paddock in his October 1 sniper attack on the crowd at a Las Vegas country music festival. But to make matters even worse for them and their loved ones, conspiracy buffs who believe the shooting was a “false flag” – a planned, staged or faked incident by sinister forces for political or propaganda gains – have been attacking its victims on social media.

An October 26 article in The Guardian details some of the vile comments from conspiracists who believe that the injured are “crisis actors” who didn’t suffer real attacks. “You are a lying piece of shit and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” wrote one on Facebook to Braden Matejka, who was shot in the head. “Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!’ said another,” The Guardian reports. “A Facebook meme quickly spread with a photo of him after the shooting, captioned: ‘I’m a lying c**t!’

Braden’s brother Taylor Matejka explained, “There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they’ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy. It’s madness. I can’t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?”

A sizable number of people entertain the notion that not only the Vegas mass murder but such other tragedies as the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting are not what was reported in the news. They are egged on by chief contemporary conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars website and other online sites. The theories are amplified by the echo chamber of social media and the internet.

Taylor Matejka started a GoFundMe campaign for his brother. The Facebook he started to promote it was soon bombed with accusations like “LYING BASTARD,” “scumbag govt actor” and “fuckin FRAUD.” And threats such as “I hope someone comes after you and literally beats the living fuck outa you.”

As The Guardian noted, “Taylor said he tried to respond to the conspiracy theorists, but nothing seemed to work: ‘I’d be happy to talk to these people, but it seems there’s no reasoning. A really sad part of this is that a lot of these people think they’re fighting the good fight and exposing truth.'”

For those who were shot and now dealing with the challenges of recovery, the harassment adds to their pain and suffering. “It makes you angry,” said Vegas victim Rob McIntosh, who suffered shots in his chest and arm. “You’ve already been through something that’s traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty.”