As The Keaton Jones Saga Rumbles On: Is Anything On The Internet Ever Authentic?

Mother Kimberly Jones allegedly planned to spend the $57,000 (£42,000) raised on GoFundMe on a blowout Christmas

Keaton Jones Video

by Ebere Nweze |
Updated on

Hearts melted when Keaton Jones shamed bullies with his teary speech on Facebook. Unlike Brexit, Trump and various sexual harassment scandals, this was one of the few 'feel-good' moments on the internet where everyone united under one cause.

Keaton's tear-filled plea, in which he claimed that bullies were making fun of his nose and said he had 'no friends', was posted on Facebook last Friday by his mother. It now has over 20 million views and celebrities including Cardi B, Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber have flocked to social media to show their support for the Tennessee middle schooler.

But Keaton's mother has now had to defend herself against allegations of racism after multiple photos of the whole family brandishing Confederate flags surfaced on the internet. Kimberly Jones has also been accused of exploiting her children for financial gain, and company GoFundMe have now taken down their fundraising page.

When one celebrity, mixed martial artist Joe Schilling, contacted a woman believed to be Keaton's mother, he found that the video may well be a mere moneymaking scheme. 'I reached out to [Keaton's] mom and I was going to bring him out to LA for a Bellator event that's coming up...She just wants money, she just wants me to share her GoFundMe account.'

'And I asked what the GoFundMe account was for and she said "Oh, well you know, Christmas is coming..." Make your own judgement on that. Sad.' the mixed martial artist said in a video he posted on Twitter.

This comes as photos showing the whole family brandishing Confederate flags circulate the internet. Kimberly has admitted that the photos are real, claiming they were ''meant to be ironic and funny and extreme,’ and saying that 'I feel like we're not racist.' Sister Lakyn has also denied accusations of racism.

Worse still, there have been rumours that Keaton used the N word in school, though Union County school have refused to deny or confirm this.

It is not yet known whether GoFundMe will un-freeze the family's fundraising page, but their alleged decision to spend the funds on Christmas celebrations as opposed to, say, donating to anti-bullying charity have disappointed internet users everywhere.

But what about the original anti-bullying message? Frustrating as these new revelations might be, it’s important that we separate the people from the idea and don’t lose the important anti-bullying message that the original video promotes. Parson Jones put it perfectly on Twitter: ‘With the revelations about #KeatonJones family surfacing we must remember a few things...Though disheartening, we were all moved by the effects of bullying and to end it. Let’s continue to focus on that.’

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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