by Katie Kausch
The sister of a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher has become the latest victim of online conspiracy theorists, who have been sending her threatening messages. The threats took a serious turn when an anonymous user posted her alleged address online Saturday (Dec. 5) on a memorial Facebook page.
Carlee Soto-Parisi gained media attention after a photo of her crying while trying to gain information about her sister, Victoria Soto, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was used widely in coverage of the events. Soto, one of six adults who died in the shooting, gave her life protecting her first-grade students, and Soto-Parisi has appeared on numerous television shows since to advocate for tougher gun control laws.
Since the shooting, conspiracy theories have taken root online, suggesting that Soto-Parisi is not actually related to anyone at the school and is instead an actress hired by the government. These conspiracies also suggest that the Obama administration orchestrated the shootings to further their pro-gun control stance. The theories do not have any factual basis.
"This is very scary to our family and as 12/14 approaches we are even more scared that this will escalate into physical violence," the family wrote in a post on Victoria Soto's Facebook page, saying Soto-Parisi and her husband are now afraid to be in their own home as a result of the threats. "We have been through enough and each day is harder than the one before."
The idea that the US government hired so-called crisis actors to preform at these tragedies and that they were government orchestrated, just isn't true; it has been debunked time and time and time and time again.
Crisis actors do exist. They're employed in crisis response drills carried out by first responders and the military, to help prepare those groups respond to real threats. They are not actors hired by the government to cry at the scenes of mass shootings, as some conspiracy groups have suggested.
The Soto family has been working with Instagram, the FBI and local police departments to put an end to the harassment and ensure the family's safety. The "hacktivist" group Anonymous has also reached out to the family to expose the harassers, according to comments on the Facebook post. If you see someone posting personal information like this, you can report the offending post to Instagram.