By Samantha Day • 22 February 2020 • 19:17
An emotional video of Australian boy Quaden, taken by his mother Yarraka showing him breaking down in tears after being bullied went viral, and has seen him inundated with support from celebrities, sports stars and the general public.
A fundraiser started after comedian Brad Williams to send Quaden to DisneyLand has raised more than $400,000, and celebrities including actor Hugh Jackman, broadcaster Piers Morgan and rugby league star Jonathan Thurston have shared encouraging messages.
On Saturday, Quadens’ Instagram account warned his 226,000 followers that fake social media accounts claiming to be him and trying to take advantage of his situation were being created.
“WARNING!!!! FAKE ACCOUNTS! PLEASE REPORT ASAP!” Quaden’s account posted to Instagram, along with a screenshot of a fake Twitter account using his name. The fake account also retweeted false posts that claimed Quaden was actually an 18-year-old man, and not a nine-year-old primary school student.
Yarraka shared a post written by a woman who has known Quaden before his video went viral.
“Yes he is nine. Dwarfism is not a joke. Is he a model or actor?… so are a lot of kids… that doesn’t mean s**t,” the post shared by Ms Bayles said.
‘His mother made the post because she was overwhelmed and enraged with the bullying. I understand her to the fullest.
‘Never did she ask for money… Never did she say they were broke. Never did they ask for this.’
One of the fake accounts has pictures of Quaden and urges followers to ‘pay my GoFundMe’ and has a link to donate.
Social media users have been debating whether Quaden is a child since his story broke on Thursday.
One woman posted a photo of Quaden at an 18th birthday party, claiming he was actually an adult, but has since been confirmed that the party was for another person and Quaden was just attending.
His mother also has a photo on her facebook profile that shows him as a baby in 2012, also refuting the claim that he is an adult.
‘Lil man going on 15 months now bless him!’ Ms Bayles wrote at the time.
While trolls continue to spread rumours, Quaden has received an outpouring of international support.
The fundraiser has now gathered $401,125 from supporters and will be raised to send Quaden and his mother for a holiday in DisneyLand California, while all the excess will be given to anti-bullying charities.
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