A viral video of a son announcing about being bullied was picked up by mainstream media, provoking more bullying, this time on a world scale, writes Hannah Jane Parkinson

Patience was just a morality. Now it’s gold dust. Especially when it comes to mainstream media picking up social media intrigue. I refer you to the story of 11 -year-old Keaton Jones, who moved viral exactly a couple of days ago after his mother posted a video of him, screaming, explaining how his classmates had bullied him and wondering the aim of bullying in general.” Why do they find glee in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them ?”

Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, posted the video to her personal Facebook page where it reaped more than 22 m positions. As the video spread around Facebook and Twitter, many luminaries( Justin Bieber, Mark Ruffalo, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Patricia Arquette, Chris Evans, Jennifer Lopez, LeBron James, Kendall Jenner among them) offered support efforts to Keaton, either with statements or messages, or Skype chit-chats, or invitations to attend premieres and concerts and er, the Fox News set( because that is what every 11 -year-boy fantasies of ).

Some accused these celebs of “using” Keaton to signal their own compassion, but I think that’s a cynical go. The video was genuinely changing. Though after $55,000 was invoked on a GoFundMe sheet that a stranger launched, I wondered why people weren’t donating to, say, anti-bullying charities, or institutions initiatives. Or Yemen. I didn’t really understand how a carry of cash would stop Keaton having milk swarmed down his shirt. But it obliged sense that the celeb assistance might prevent his antagonists.

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@ justinbieber ) on Dec 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm PST

The problems started when photographs of Keaton’s mother were exhumed on Facebook in which she is smiling and containing the Confederate flag.( Keaton and members of their families are based in Tennessee ). Another photo showed Keaton holding a stars-and-stripes pennant and a pal viewing the Confederate flag. There was also a berth in which Kimberly Jones took aim at NFL player Colin Kaepernick and other players who have complained racial difference by kneeling for “the member states national” anthem.

Kimberly has either since removed the video, or stimulated it private, after abusive statements were directed towards Keaton, and she used called a” money-grabbing prejudiced”( there are still gues she had lay out a separate crowdfunding sheet herself ). Unverified reports also came that Keaton was actually bullied because he had repeatedly utilized racial monikers against classmates- a claim his sister denied. So it was that Keaton moved from being bullied by his classmates to being bullied by most of the internet. On Tuesday, Kimberly appeared on CBS News to protest her innocence:” Yesterday he was a hero, today the world hates us“, she said, in tears to coincide her son’s.

There are so many issues to parse here it is difficult to know where to begin. There’s an argument that the initial video should have stayed in the realm of social media and not been picked up by mainstream shops at all. But viral narratives are often an easy triumph for conventional media fighting for notice online( the Keaton story was the most speak on the Guardian’s website when it was published ), and some internet culture narrations are genuinely important to deep-dive into. And in such a case, when the fames picked it up, it became a news item that warranted publication.

The fact that the mother uploaded the video should have perhaps parent some pennants. But more so, reporting that she had induced racist observations on an Instagram account, which has since been proved bogus, “shouldve been” checked. It was also reported that Keaton made an defense on behalf of his mother- except that Instagram account was fake very. At my last-place count, I could find 15 phony Instagram accounts. It is an obvious tell when the accounts consist of precisely five photographs, all in the public domain( hence why professional troll notes go back weeks and months, and in the event of its numerous online Russian actors, years ), but these comments were picked up by information outlets( although not the Guardian ).

The story of Keaton Jones has become the perfect microcosm of mainstream stores publicizing social media events. Heartwarming social post; picked up by word shops; major exposure; crowdfunding page lay out; social media digging of story subjects; reaction; much fakery; major revelation … and so it goes on. As one wag put it, the Keaton Jones epic is” the most 2017 thought to happen in 2017″.

I don’t know if Keaton’s mum filmed the video as a stunt to raise money or if she is prejudiced( she argued that she posed next to the flag in an “ironic” minute, meant to be “funny”, as if that would make it ok ), but much of the “evidence” against her has been debunked. Keaton likewise shouldn’t be held responsible for his mother’s actions. I’ll agree that his sister posing with a 9mm pistol isn’t a particularly good search, and I don’t know whether Keaton utilized the N-word against his classmates, but it shouldn’t be reported without a columnist riling to find out the truth of it.

When the principal of Keaton’s school was finally contacted, he said that the bully happen had being handled and didn’t mention any epithets on his part.

Many of us, including news outlets, are becoming aware of counterfeit word when it is of a political sort, but fewer checks and matches seem to be in place when it is necessary to viral feelgood floors( witness multiple heart-tugging narratives on homeless person being discredited ). Perhaps lighthearted uprights that stay in the realm of social media are not worthy of such investigation, but when they are was transformed into word fibs, checks should be made, as in the case of important berths on social media( terrorism attempts, political and public interest uprights ). It is important too, to note that online smearing has become a strong tactic. It has been largely questioned this morning how so many beings could vote for the alleged paedophile and now-defeated nominee Alabama candidate Roy Moore. But those people didn’t vote for an alleged paedophile- they guessed the accusations against Moore to be nothing more than a smear campaign.

Prevention is better than cure. Due process is better than amendment. Who wants to be attaining the same kind of ” Dewey Defeats Truman” mistake in 2017? Or be responsible for the downfall of an 11 -year-old boy? We should be careful that in the scoot for network congestion, we don’t end up car-crash reporting.


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