Keaton Jones controversy builds as questions swirl around mom's social media and fundraising accounts
A GoFundMe Page that raised over $57,000 for bullied middle schooler Keaton Jones is no longer accepting donations as confusion and controversy surround the social media accounts of the viral video star's mother, Kimberly Jones.
The creator of the fundraising page, Joseph Lam, first noticed something wasn't right on Monday. "Hey everyone. So I’m getting a lot response[s] regarding this person commenting as Kim as well as the Instagram account attached to it," he wrote. "It’s looking like it’s a fake Instagram account therefore those comments are fake. I’m waiting for her and her daughter to confirm that for me."
Soon after, Lam, who has no relationship to the family, stopped taking donations for Keaton, and gave this explanation.
"As many of you know I paused the donations as well as the comments. As I sit back and read these comments and watched the video again I feel I have to make this update. THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MOM!! However passing judgement on her before you know her is a form of bullying. Condemnation before evaluation is the ultimate form of ignorance. I can't even say for sure that any of whats being said is true. I don't know the family personally and never claimed to have known them.... Im in touch with GFM on how to proceed at this point. Thank you every one that donated."
Another GoFundMe account, "Give My Son A Good Christmas," which was allegedly run by Jones but was never confirmed to be attached to the single mother, has since been deleted.
Fox News had corresponded through an Instagram account linked to Kimberly Jones via direct message on Monday in which Jones told us that claims she was using her son's moving video as a cash grab were "untrue." After our story published, the account was deleted.
Jones also faced backlash after it was alleged her personal Facebook page contained a photo of her holding the Confederate Flag as well as an image where Keaton is holding an American flag and another child is holding the Confederate Flag.
Jones' Facebook page has since been turned to private, but Jones answered questions about the photos on a "CBS This Morning" segment that aired Tuesday morning, calling the pictures "ironic" and "funny." "I've said I've spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn't racist," she explained.
"CBS This Morning" correspondent Mark Strassmann, who traveled to Tennessee to talk to Jones, didn't ask any questions about the fundraising sites.
Keaton Jones' video revealing his torment from being bullied at school went viral over the weekend. Celebrities including Chris Evans, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Gal Gadot took up his anti-bullying message, sharing the video with their huge social media followings. The video has been viewed over 15 million times.