Fake news quickly spread after 4Chan users claimed shooter Salvador Ramos was trans while using a trans woman’s picture.
This week, an insufferable tragedy occurred in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School. Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother outside of the school before making his way inside and killing two teachers along with 19 students, all 2nd to 4th grade. As politicians use this opportunity to debate decades-old issues, misinformation about Ramos was raging online. The infamous 4Chan was responsible for the rumors that Ramos was transgender and trolls even plucked a photo that they found on the internet of a trans woman and claimed it was the shooter.
The photo circulated far and wide, and everyone from senators to Boosie Badazz jumped in with transphobic remarks. However, it was learned that the trans woman in the picture wasn’t Ramos, isn’t connected to the shooting at all, and doesn’t even live in Texas.
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Rolling Stone reported that the woman in question visited Reddit where she came forward to answer questions and clear the air. There were reportedly people there who only wanted to further antagonize her with cruelty.
“I’m annoyed about what’s happening with me,” she wrote. “I’m more concerned with the [families] affected by the actual events.” Someone wanted to know if the circulating photo was Ramos’s face photoshopped onto her body. “No they just took my photos and used it to spread misinformation.” She also denied sharing a similar name to Ramos, adding that the image was used because people were “just transphobic and took the opportunity to attack me and other trans people in turn.”
In a twist, some Reddit users accused her of using this moment for fame. “Why would I want to be accused of murder?” she questioned. “People are threatening me and harassing me for no reason. They are actively trying to ruin my life instead of helping the families who were affected.”
“I don’t want fame, I just want to live without being attacked when I leave my house.”