On Friday, a Tennessee middle school student named Keaton Jones went massively viral when his mom shared a Facebook video of her son. In the heart-wrenching clip, Jones describes his tormenting by bullies at his school.
Celebrities began to tweet their support:
But by Monday, Keaton Jones was experiencing the other end of viral fame. Reports began to surface everywhere that Kimberly Jones, Keaton's mom, had social media accounts littered with racist posts.
Things got even weirder when an MMA fighter, Joe Schilling, reported to have a conversation with someone alleging to be Kimberly Jones on Instagram. That conversation was unbelievably racist. "This might be a fake account," clarified the fighter:
And by the time we finished writing this post, award winning ABC reporter Linsey Davis had deleted her own tweet: a screenshot from an Instagram account purporting to be that of Keaton Jones.
Davis' tweet implied that she knew this was Jones' real Instagram account (the account is now unavailable):
Here's the alleged apology:
This is Keaton I want to apologize on behalf of my mom for the things she has said towards other races I love my mother but I also realize wrong is wrong. And what she said was wrong. I hope we can all put her mistakes in the past and focus on bettering the world thank you - Keaton Jones
But hours later, she had deleted her tweet. Now, the only Instagram account that claims to be by Keaton Jones and is actually verified is this one: _taylormadeq. It, of course, is set to private.
According to Hello Giggles, Kimberly Jones' original video is no longer available "for public viewing" either. But before Jones' Facebook went private, the video was picked up by pretty much every celebrity on the planet.
For now, we're left wondering what the truth is about the Jones family—with rampant speculation on Twitter filling in for facts. What else is new?
And while the problematic reports about Keaton's mom haven't taken away from the problem of bullying, they've certainly called into question, for some, the idea of contributing to the GoFundMe page set up to benefit the family.
In fact, the creator of the page wrote an update on Monday saying he's "paused the donations as well as the comments."
For now, let's all just agree bullying and racism are terrible.