- A viral video claimed to show a mother the footage of her son while crying over the bullying he faces at school because he has dwarfism.
- While the video has received positive attention from celebrities and strangers who have come together to raise more than $ 360,000 for him, there have been questions about the legitimacy of the video derived from groundless conspiracies about his age.
- There is no evidence to suggest that the boy, Quaden Bayles, or his mother Yarraka, is lying about his age.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
When the mother of Quaden Bayles, an Australian boy with a form of dwarfism, posted a video of her son on Facebook where he cried being bullied at school and said he wanted to end his life, he probably had an idea of his son’s heartbreaking motives could go viral.
Her mother, Yarraka Bayles, had previously published online about her son, reaching at least some degree of virality in the past, appearing several times on Australian television to raise awareness of her son’s condition.
“This is what bullies,” Bayles said in the video posted on Facebook, which has since garnered over 24 million views. “Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”
In less than a day, a GoFundMe created by American comedian Brad Williams, who has achondroplasia – the same form of dwarfism as Quaden – raised over $ 366,000 from 16,500 unique donors worldwide. Donations will go to Quaden and her mother to visit Disneyland in California, according to the comedian’s GoFundMe page.
Even the actor Hugh Jackman I have been involved. The video was viral and, as in any viral trend, particularly where money is involved, conspiracies have arisen and they have started trending on Twitter.
When GoFundMe was unexpectedly successful, the Internet became harsh, inventing groundless conspiracy theories about Quaden’s age
“Do you know that 9-year-old bullies raised over $ 200,000 for and several celebrities drew attention to him ???” wrote one person on chirping, earning nearly 300 retweets. “his names are quaden bayles, he is 18 years old and actually rich and a famous instagram … you have been scammed by an adult m-dget who is screaming.”
Similar statements were echoed on Twitter on Friday afternoon, as users argued if the boy at the center of the viral video was a child or was he really an adult posing as a child. At the time of this writing, #QuadenBayles was the fourth highest Twitter trend in the United States and “He 9” was number 12.
The same screenshot, taken from Facebook, was distributed on Twitter and claimed to have chosen Quaden as an 18 year old, not a 9 year old.
—Shanrrr (@shanohni) February 21, 2020
“Just for that you know … he cheated everyone .. he is 18 years old in abundance and yes, everyone fell in love with this,” wrote the woman in the Facebook post. “Now, if I’m wrong, please get your link and explain why. He’s an Instagram celeb @quadosss and has deleted the captions related to his 18-year-old post.”
—🌷✭ (@Trashnaldo) February 21, 2020
There is no evidence to suggest that Quaden and his mother are lying
In a 2015 interview on Australian Network Ten’s “Studio 10”, Bayles was described as a four-year-old boy.
“Quaden Bayles is four years old and this Brisbane kid is a powerful one,” said the host “Studio 10”. “He is inspiring an extraordinary campaign to raise public awareness of dwarfism. He has already undergone several surgeries with the support of celebrities.”
In the clip, the anchors and her mother also discuss a previous Quaden viral clip from October 2014.
“This is when things started to change for us,” Quaden’s mother said in the nearly 5-year-old video.
Bayles, who appears much younger than he is in the recent video, is occupied by a toy while his mother is being interviewed by the “Studio 10” hosts. The interview was posted on YouTube on April 12, 2015, which means that if Quaden was then 4 years old, he would be 8, or at most 9, in February 2019.
Conspiracy theorists have indicated a website that lists him as an actor, model, extra and influencer
There is a page for Bayles on a website called StarNow, which allows people to create profiles to find roles in acting and modeling. While the page includes photos of Bayles’ short stories and videos of his past appearances on television, such as his aforementioned appearance in 2015 in “Studio 10”, the page does not list acting credits in addition to “previous unpaid roles”. It is listed as “beginner, starting” under the part of the modeling page.
“Hi, I am Quaden, I am 8 years old and I am one of the few Aboriginal boys born with dwarfism achondroplasia,” says the StarNow biography, although it is not clear when the biography was created. “I currently live in Brisbane, but I often travel. I love sports, animals, food, family and fashion. I have a great following on social media for my bright and sparkling personality because I love making people laugh. I embrace my uniqueness and I inspire people to be happy and to appreciate the simple things in life “.
The page also contains a link to an upload to YouTube of Bayles’ 25-minute episode of “Living Black”, a topical show that airs on the Australian SBS network and presents stories about the Australian indigenous community. The episode, which aired in 2015, followed Quaden and her mother as she prepared to have brain and spine surgery. In the video, Kayla Grant, host of the show, describes Quaden as a four year old boy.
Instagram photos also led to conspiracies about her age
A couple of photos posted on Quaden’s Instagram account appeared to be the place from which the 18-year-old theory originated, as mentioned in the previous Facebook viral screenshot, as online criminals and conspiracy theorists suggested that the photos were of his eighteenth birthday party. One of the photos in question, which shows Quaden with four other guys, is titled “Happy 18 mah mah”, which indicates that he was celebrating someone else’s 18th birthday, not his own. Another photo that also has the large illuminated “18” orange sign does not have a caption.
“So he’s practically pretending to be a kid who takes money from people with mental health and depression who want to kill themselves and earn money because he’s a little dwarf and making profits. This makes me even crazier because I was in a state of depression and I wanted to kill myself, “commented one person under the photo posted on his Instagram page.
Comments on the photos, uploaded on January 18, were mixed with some Quaden defenses and his mother, while others expressed confusion or outrage over the situation.
Yarraka Bayles has a history of posts about her son online, which provides a compelling case that she is actually a child
Quaden’s mother, Yarraka, has regularly posted photos and videos of her son on Facebook since 2010, around the time he was born. In an album, which contains photos published from 12 to 15 December 2011, a Quaden child celebrates his first birthday, according to the captions of his photos. If Quaden had celebrated his first birthday in late 2011, he would have celebrated his ninth birthday in late 2019.
In 2017, her mother released another photo album on her public Facebook profile which allegedly shows it as she celebrates her seventh birthday. There is a similar album from his son’s fifth birthday, shared on December 13, 2015.
Yarraka Bayles did not return an Insider request for comment.
Although it is not possible to verify whether the video was staged as some have claimed and while Insider did not verify Bayles’ birth certificate, the evidence suggests that the boy at the center of the latest viral Internet video is nine years old and not 18.