Fact Check

Was Bullying Victim Keaton Jones Beaten and Robbed of GoFundMe Money?

Fake news sites took advantage of a controversy about a bullied middle schooler whose mother posted photographs of the Confederate flag to her Facebook page.

Published Dec 13, 2017

Keaton Jones, known for a viral video about bullying, was beaten and robbed of luxury items purchased with money raised via GoFundMe.

A viral video of middle school bullying victim Keaton Jones turned controversial in December 2017 after his mother's Facebook posts that included photographs of the Confederate flag surfaced. In the ensuing melee, a GoFundMe page started in Keaton's honor by a third party also came under scrutiny. The web site Huzlers jumped in, publishing an article claiming that the child was robbed of luxury items that he had purchased with the GoFundMe money:

Fake Bully Victim Keaton Jones Beat & Robbed At School After Arriving W/ Gucci Belt, Jordan’s, & Hoverboard He Bought W/ GoFundMe Money

KNOXVILLE – After alleged bullying victim Keaton Jones received nearly $60k via GoFundMe donations over the weekend, it is being reported that upon returning back to school monday, he was beat and robbed for his possessions, which include a Rolex watch, Gucci belt, pair of Jordan sneakers, and a hoverboard, all which he allegedly purchased with his donation money. According to faculty, Keaton entered the school and rode his hoverboard through the hallways.

Keaton Jones went viral after his mother posted a video of him online. In this video Keaton is showed crying and asking why people like to bully him. Because of the heartbreaking video, housands of people raised nearly $60k via GoFundMe ... a few days after Keaton went viral, it was discovered by social media users that Keaton’s family are racist confederates. Pictures of the family holding confederate flags have surfaced, with some users even finding racist anti-black comments and posts on Keaton’s mother’s facebook page, with many speculating that Keaton was simply being bullied because he was racist to his black peers, and even calling them the N-word.

Apparently Keaton’s classmates didn’t take the whole GoFundMe stunt lightly and decided to take it upon themselves, beating and robbing Keaton upon arriving at school. “I’m not gonna lie he deserved it” said Catherine Lennon, Keaton’s teacher ... Keaton was taken to the hospital with fractured bones and countless bruises.

There was no truth to the outlandish claim.

When the Huzlers story was published on 12 December, no funds from the GoFundMe campaign had been disbursed to Keaton's family. You can read more about the controversy surrounding his mother's Facebook posts here.

Huzlers is a fake news outfit, whose disclaimer boasts that it is "the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world ... [i]f it's trending on social media you'll find it here!" The notorious purveyor of fake news previously snookered social media users with fictitious tales about 15 consecutive days of darkness, cocaine in Coors Light beer, and urine in AriZona IceD Tea .

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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