There has been a complicated twist in the story of the Keaton Jones viral video.
Keaton is the Tennessee boy who was filmed by his mother while he tearfully described being bullied at school, generating an outpouring of sympathy from celebrities and the public in general.
The video went viral on Dec. 8, but various accusations began circulating on Dec. 11 which raise some serious questions.
One internet rumor contends that Keaton used the n-word on multiple occasions, reports Complex.com.
More substantive evidence involves photos that emerged of Keaton, his siblings and his mother, Kimberly Jones, posing with Confederate flags, Newsweek reports.
The photos were taken from a private Facebook page believed to belong to Kimberly. One photo shows Kimberly smiling and posing with a Confederate flag, while another shows Keaton and his siblings posing with the U.S. flag and the Confederate flag.
The images are screenshots that internet users said they captured before she made her account private, reports the Tennessean.
The text accompanying the photos denounces those who protest the American flag.
Another allegation came from mixed martial arts fighter Joe Schilling, who posted a screenshot of an Instagram conversation with a woman claiming to be Kimberly, in which she made a remark about "whites sticking together."
Schilling explained that he offered to fly Keaton to Los Angeles to watch an MMA show, but alleged that Kimberly asked him to plug a GoFundMe fundraising page dedicated to Keaton instead. When he accused her of profiting from her son's pain, Kimberly wrote: "What happened to us whites sticking together and helping one of another against the predator?"
The GoFundMe page in question, which was set up on Dec. 11, has also raised suspicions.
It quickly raised around $60,000, but the person who set it up, Joseph Lam, is not related to, or affiliated with, the Jones family.
Lam responded to criticism about Kimberly's alleged racism and his motives:
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.
This is about a kid who's been bullied and not just one kid, Keaton, there are many unspoken cases about kids being bullied. We have to be the voice for the voiceless. In the video I saw a kid crying not just for himself but for others. To me thats a kid with a heart of gold and deserves praise. I'm hoping that we can turn the money into something good whether it be for private school or college fund.
A spokesman for GoFundMe described Lam as a "stranger" who "wanted to help Keaton after the video was posted online." GoFundMe is working with Lam "to ensure the funds go to Keaton," the spokesman said.
There have been other online fundraising efforts which are also suspicious, notes the Tennessean, which has been unable to reach the Jones family for comment.
However, Keaton's sister, Lakyn Jones, has denied the accusations of racism and any connection to the various fundraising efforts.
She tweeted: "Those who know me and my family know we aren't racist. My brother doesn't say the 'N' word. Please leave it alone … The Instagram KimberlyJones_38 is NOT my mom. She has a private Instagram and hasn't talked to anyone. We haven't received any money and don't plan on it. The gofundme's aren't by any of us."