A series of social media accounts are springing up for an event billed as the “March on Washington for Gun Control” that’s set to take place on April 29. However, some on Facebook and other platforms are accusing the people behind the pages of creating the event to confuse from the “March for Our Lives,” which is set to take place on March 24.
If the April 29 march is a rouse aimed at confusing those hoping to attend March for Our Lives, the people behind it have done a pretty elaborate job at stitching together their false narrative. They’ve put together a pretty website at GunControlMarch.org and have corresponding profiles on Twitter and Instagram.
On the event’s Facebook page, a score of people have left comments warning that the march is “intended to confuse people.” One woman wrote, “THIS IS A FAKE EVENT. Report to FB. Do not donate or make travel plans. This event is a scam designed to confuse and/or accept donations through their website, as with fake event described in article attached. REPORT TO FB.”
But, some people definitely seem to think the event is legitimate. Over 1,500 people have marked that they’re “going” to the event and over 22,000 say that they’re “interested.”
The March For Our Lives event was put together by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left 17 dead on Valentine’s Day.
Fake Facebook profiles, groups and events have become a huge problem on the platform and were highlighted during the aftermath of the 2016 election when it was revealed that Russian actors duped scores of Americans into attending anti-Clinton events. According to a Facebook document that was given to the House Intelligence Committee in January, the Russians created 129 fraudulent events and succeeded in getting hundreds of thousands of Americans to say that they were attending the events.
Commenting on the phenomenon to The Washington Post, Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Clinton Watts said, “Not only did [the Russians] influence how people viewed Russian policy, they got people to take physical action. That’s unprecedented.” He added, “They just did it persistently, and they did it well.”
The March on Washington For Gun Control has an email listed, and Rare has reached out, asking whether the event is legitimate, but as the time this article’s publication, our inquiry has not bet answered. We’ve also reached out to representatives from the “March for Our Lives” event.
UPDATE (1:50 p.m.) – A representative with an email attached to the March on Washington for Gun Control clarified to Rare that the march is “tentative for 4/29 but might fall on 4/28.” The representative did not comment on whether the march is intended to confuse with March for Our Lives.
UPDATE (2:18 p.m.) – A representative with an email attached to the March on Washington for Gun Control told Rare “we fully support the march on 3/29 and encourage anyone that has learned about ours to fully support theirs. And we hope to work together, as well as with other marches and orgs. We’re all in this together and there are many. Historically speaking, It’s going to take a sustained effort.”