After implementing new policies surrounding manipulated media on its platform earlier this month, Twitter is now reportedly testing labels for misinformation from public figures…
A young boy named Keaton Jones went viral yesterday after a video of him discussing being bullied gained the attention of A-list celebrities — but the boy’s family instantly dropped in esteem when photos of them holding the Confederate flag were revealed.
This is Keaton Jones, he lives in Knoxville and he has a little something to say about bullying.pic.twitter.com/coyQxFp33V
— Everything TN (@Everything_TN) December 9, 2017
In the original viral video, Keaton asks what the point of bullying is. When his mom prompts him to explain what the bullies do to him, Keaton says they make fun of his nose, call him ugly, and pour milk on him.
“It’s not okay,” Keaton cries. “People that are different don’t need to be criticised about it.”
Keaton Jones was Twitter’s darling until images of his family holding Confederate flags emerged
Almost immediately, celebrities were issuing their support, from US sports stars to the likes of Mark Hamill, Demi Lovato, and Justin Bieber. A GoFundMe page labelled “Stand Up for Keaton” raked in almost US$60 000.
Captain America star Chris Evans even invited Keaton to the Avengers: Infinity War premiere next year.
Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? https://t.co/s1QwCQ3toi
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 10, 2017
But quickly after the heartwarming story went viral, something went wrong. This time, it was in the form of Facebook photos of the Jones family posing with the Confederate flag, known for its use by those in the US civil war protecting the “right” to own slaves.
That viral video of #KeatonJones talking about being bullied is heartbreaking, and I feel sympathetic towards that child.
But his mom, Kimberly on the other hand, is a suspected racist who makes very problematic posts bullying Black protesters #TheIronypic.twitter.com/NUhidunP8z
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) December 11, 2017
One post ostensibly by Kimberly Jones, Keaton’s mother, called out protesters as “butt hurt Americans (sic)”, and another image proclaimed “I Stand With the Flag”, a conservative movement protesting Colin Kaepernick’s own protest against police brutality.
The family quickly became a meme, as many (perhaps unfairly) believed them to be lying about the bullying for money. The GoFundMe page has been put on hold, though it’s yet unclear if it was being held by a third party not associated with the family.
Keaton after his mamma turned off the camera pic.twitter.com/wnu8ciKwJl
— Leilaaaa (@leilanotlayla) December 12, 2017
white ppl: “Where’s the video of Keaton using the N word?”
black ppl: “Where’s the video of him being bullied?”
— gif reactions (@GlF_reactions) December 12, 2017
The Avengers responding to Keaton Jones before they had all the facts is yet more evidence that they need government oversight
— Mike Leffingwell (@mikeleffingwell) December 11, 2017
A video of another bullied young boy soon went viral after the Confederate flag revelations.
Keaton out here gettin a $100k bag from GoFundMe and his mom a racist and this lil boy who got bullied and is wise beyond his years ain’t even get a dollar or a tweet from y’all pic.twitter.com/3edlyS1jXr
— Karim (@karimtbe) December 11, 2017
Actor Mark Ruffalo — who had previously seconded costar Chris Evans’ Keaton Jones invite — invited this boy to the premiere as well.
This young man is my Hero too. The kids know in their hearts what is right. Both want to be accepted outside of their appearance. Me and @DonCheadle would like to invite this gentleman to the premiere of #InfinityWar as our guest. https://t.co/U0cgplnqas
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) December 12, 2017