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Growing numbers of gun crime VICTIMS are targeted online 

A growing number of gun victims are becoming targeted online by conspiracy theorists claiming their stories are fake.

After Mike Cronk survived the Las Vegas massacre, the worst mass shooting in modern US history, he was approached by a TV reporter. 

Dirty and bloody, having just used his shirt to plug a friend's bullet wound, he recounted a young man he did not know had just died in his arms.

By many he was hailed a hero, but dozens of YouTube videos began circulating calling him an 'actor' and 'part of a hoax'. 

A growing number of gun victims are becoming targeted online by conspiracy theorists claiming their stories are fake including Mike Cronk (pictured) who survived the October Las Vegas massacre

A growing number of gun victims are becoming targeted online by conspiracy theorists claiming their stories are fake including Mike Cronk (pictured) who survived the October Las Vegas massacre

By many he was hailed a hero, but dozens of YouTube videos began circulating calling Cronk (pictured) an 'actor' and 'part of a hoax'

By many he was hailed a hero, but dozens of YouTube videos began circulating calling Cronk (pictured) an 'actor' and 'part of a hoax'

Popular videos, viewed thousands of times, claimed he and his wounded friend were performers and that the Mandalay Bay tragedy that killed 58 people never happened

Popular videos, viewed thousands of times, claimed he and his wounded friend were performers and that the Mandalay Bay tragedy that killed 58 people never happened

Popular videos, viewed thousands of times, claimed he and his wounded friend were performers and that the Mandalay Bay tragedy that killed 58 people never happened. 

'It's awful that we have to go through what we did and then you have a whole new level of attacks on you and who you are,' Cronk, a retired teacher, told The Guardian. 'I don't want negative stuff associated with my name, but how do we stop that?'

Cronk is just one of several people who have been called am 'actor' or 'faker'. Also targeted are the families of shooting victims.

Alison Parker (left) was a television reporter who was dead while reporting live in August 2015 by a disgruntled former colleague

Alison Parker (left) was a television reporter who was dead while reporting live in August 2015 by a disgruntled former colleague

Not long afterwards, conspiracy theorists began targeting the YouTube page of her father, Andy Parker (pictured), claiming that he was an actor hired to be portray a grieving father

Not long afterwards, conspiracy theorists began targeting the YouTube page of her father, Andy Parker (pictured), claiming that he was an actor hired to be portray a grieving father

Alison Parker was a television reporter who was dead while reporting live in August 2015 by a disgruntled former colleague.

Not long afterwards, conspiracy theorists began targeting the YouTube page of her father, Andy Parker. Among his videos were old commercials in which he appeared as a young actor in New York.

Strangers quickly seized on that detail to prove that his daughters' shooting was a hoax and that Andy Parker had supposedly been hired to portray a grieving father.

Google searches for the foundation the Parkers had set up to honor their daughter's memory yielded videos claiming the organization was a hoax for Andy to make money. 

'I don't care what they say about me,' Andy said, 'but leave the foundation alone. Leave my daughter alone.' 

Colleen Seifert, a University of Michigan psychology professor, said people may be drawn to trust conspiracy theory videos

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