Keaton Jones, Milkshake Duck And The ‘Viral’ Video

Arianna Carlos, Opinion Editor

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Throughout the past two years, there have been a variety of viral videos that portrayed a message but through diligent reporting, there was another side to the story. The most recent viral video starred Keaton Jones. The little boy’s experience being bullied caught people’s attention. I know it caught mine.

It was heartbreaking to see him go through bullying. I watched it. My friends were talking about it. Even my mom had shown me the video, asking if I had seen it. However, after all the facts and back story had uncovered, everyone had a different opinion.

Turns out, before she made the bullying video, Keaton’s mother had posted a variety of photos on Facebook of herself and her family – including Keaton – with the Confederate flag, a Civil War symbol that some associate with slavery.
Keaton should not be criticized for what his mother believes.

Not that Keaton should be following in the footsteps of the confederacy, but he is a child.

When it was uncovered that Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, had posted those photos, questions arose as to why he had been bullied.

In the video, Keaton says that he was called ugly and was told he had no friends, among other things. But individuals began to believe that he was bullied as a form of defense or retaliation because of the beliefs his mother might have in supporting the confederate flag.

After the video went viral, someone had created a GoFundMe page for Kimberly and Keaton Jones. Many people donated. In fact, roughly 60,000 dollars was raised. But for what?

People began to speculate why after Kimberly was known to be supporting the Confederate flag. The GoFundMe page was suspended.

Before the facts and focus on finances emerged, Keaton’s bully video received attention from numerous celebrities, including Chris Evans.

          

 

Was Keaton Jones the latest “Milkshake Duck”?

The term, “Milkshake Duck,” comes from an Australian meme in which a duck drinks a milkshake (cute) but then reporters later discover that the duck is racist (not cute). The term is meant to portray someone who seems friendly or perhaps has good intentions, however they end up disappointing us.

It could be debated whether Keaton Jones was a “Milkshake Duck,” because how the story unraveled.

Another image that went viral in May was the Rapper Bow Wow claiming or seeming to show that he was in his own private plane, however it was just a normal passenger plane. The picture Bow Wow posted of his “private plane” was just a picture from a Florida Transportation Company. Later, he had paid people to chase him to make it seem that they were fans.

The Rapper Bow Wow did this to get more fame, he gained negative attention that led to the #BowWowChallenge in which people posted two pictures on social media – one of their fake claims to be rich and the other of their financially modest real lives.

Another instance, of a two-sided viral story, featured the aptly named Ken Bone.

In 2016, during one of the presidential election debates, Ken Bone, a power-plant worker and an undecided voter, asked former presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, this question: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”

Ken Bone had caught America’s attention, since he seemed friendly and cared about the community. However, upon further review, a disturbing history uncovered. Bone had admitted to insurance fraud. Bone said he had fooled three of his bosses and a cop with fake insurance documentation. But the worst and most disturbing part of what he had posted on Reddit was that the killing of 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin was a “justified” act of self-defense.

These viral stories seem to follow a familiar pattern. First, the video or picture gains national or international attention. Second, journalists do their jobs to find out more information about the subject or message behind the video, previously unknown. Finally, some new information – often newsworthy, sometimes controversial is uncovered that might contradict the original message.

Is it human nature that makes us assume the best in strangers who seemingly randomly create a GoFundMe page for a stranger or ask politicians questions we’d ask ourselves?

Or it is that viral stories move so quickly, that they come into our feeds from family and friends without to scrutiny that they deserve?

We – those of us on the Internet – have assumptions of the people we see and about the standard they adhere to in their personal lives, but should we?

After all, while going viral today might gain one countless likes and unsolicited money, going viral used to require medical attention, possibly penicillin.

Maybe a good dose of medicine is still what this Internet virus requires.

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