News & Politics

Vegas Survivors Inundated with Death Threats, Harassment from Conspiracy Theorists

Candlelight memorial after shooting in Las Vegas. in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

I’ve always thought of conspiracy theorists as those guys who continue to believe the government that couldn’t successfully launch a website for buying health insurance is the same government that made 9/11 happen without a hiccup. They’re usually a joke, people you roll your eyes at when you encounter them at parties — and they might be good for a laugh.

But there’s a darker side to some of these people, and survivors of the Las Vegas massacre are experiencing it. According to the Guardian, “Braden Matejka survived a bullet to the head in the Las Vegas massacre. Then, the death threats started coming.”

“You are a lying piece of sh*t and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” a commenter wrote to Matejka on Facebook.” “Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!” said another. And then a Facebook meme began to circulate of a picture of him after the shooting with the caption “I’m a lying cu*t!”

According to the report, “The 30-year-old victim – who narrowly escaped death in the worst mass shooting in modern US history – has faced a torrent of online abuse and harassment, forcing him to shut down his social media accounts and disappear from the internet. The bullying, taunting and graphic threats have also spread to his family and friends.”

“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,” said Taylor Matejka, Braden’s brother. She showed the Guardian dozens of screenshots of the abuse. “It’s madness. I can’t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?”

“Conspiracy theorists – some of whom claim that the government staged the shooting on 1 October or that the tragedy was a hoax – have targeted survivors and victims’ loved ones, spamming every social media platform with misinformation and abuse,” the Guardian explained. “On Facebook and YouTube in particular, users have published viral posts and videos calling people like Braden “crisis actors”, alleging they were hired to pose as victims.”

This is disgusting.

It’s bad enough these warped minds believe that the most horrific mass shooting in modern American history was staged, but to actually utter things like this to another human being? Seriously?

I won’t even get into the pure stupidity of this supposed “conspiracy” because, well, it’s low-hanging fruit.

Instead, I want to point out that as someone who has been on the receiving end of comments like this, you’re not clever. You’re not going to scare anyone into changing their mind. You only look like a hateful, disgusting human being.

These people have been through something horrific, and to find out that they’re still dealing with horrific things because of butt wipes who think everything is a freaking hoax infuriates me.

If any of those people are reading this now, let me just say to knock it off. Seriously. Not only are you an idiot and possibly delusional, but you’re a poor excuse for a human being.