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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Bully Victim Keaton Jones Not Beaten And Robbed At School After Arriving With Gucci Belt, Jordans And Hoverboard Bought With GoFundMe Donations

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:12:25 Z)

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

A self-described "fauxtire" site named Huzlers.com published a story (archived here) titled "FAKE BULLY VICTIM KEATON JONES BEAT & ROBBED AT SCHOOL AFTER ARRIVING W/ GUCCI BELT, JORDAN'S, & HOVERBOARD HE BOUGHT W/ GOFUNDME MONEY" that started:

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.

While it is indeed true that Keaton Jones featured in a viral video about being bullied at school and subsequently got an outpouring of support from people and celebrities from all over the world (including substantial donations via a GoFundMe campaign) it is not true that he used the donations to buy luxury items and subsequently got beat up at school.

keatonjones.jpg

Here is the video that got it all started:

After the initial support there was also a backlash after several of Jones' family members were seen to be posing with confederate flags on Facebook. You can read more about that controversy here. But the part about being beaten up at school after arriving with all his luxury goods supposedly bought with the donations is absolutely false: for one thing the GoFundMe page was frozen after the controversy erupted so the money hasn't actually gotten to him yet (if it ever does).

And on top of that Huzlers styles itself as a "fauxtire" website and carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

Huzlers.com is the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's trending on social media you'll find it here!

According to Splinter News the site is run by Pablo Reyes and David Martinez and according to Buzzfeed Reyes is involved with several other fake news websites. They tend to shy away from political stories, opting instead to write for a more "urban" audience, with stories about rappers, criminals and celebrities.

So don't believe this fake story and don't spread it. A little boy is being victimized and bullied by random people on the internet. No matter what you think of his family, that's just wrong.

Updates:

: The same story also appeared on Viralactions.com, a site related to a network of fake news sites which includes Celebtricity.com to which Pablo Reyes also contributed in the past according to Buzzfeed.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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