A viral video claiming to show extensive damage done by a 12-year-old boy after his mother took his phone has shocked the internet.
But the reality of the story behind the images is less clear, with much speculation on social media about what really happened.
Twitter handle Shania posted the video on Wednesday and wrote: “A 12 year old boy did this because his mother took his phone…”
With more than 10 million views and shares across the internet, including on Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, the video shows a woman walking through her kitchen displaying broken appliances, furniture and belongings lying around.
But after thousands of internet users were quick to react and share the shocking images, and speculate on who caused the damage, it was revealed that there may be more to this story.
As the video went viral, accusations began to surface that the alleged context was misleading at best.
an answer reclaimed: “Dear, you need to delete this tweet because you have gone viral with misinformation. It was an abusive ex who did this, not a 12 year old.”
“That changes the whole narrative,” one response said, while another Twitter user wrote, “I just don’t feel like a child can cause that much harm.”
But hours after sharing the first tweet, Twitter user Shania updated her followers again.
“Just got off the phone with the woman in the video,” she wrote, “I was misinformed when I first posted it (my sincerest apologies). The truth is that this was the result of an episode of her 15-year-old son. son had last week while he wasn’t taking his meds.”
She continued, “It’s a really sad and unfortunate situation, and our sister can use our help! With that said, her best friend set up a Gofundme to help cover the costs of the extensive damage and help her get back on her feet. So let’s go for it.” “
But this update, while correcting the narrative, also raised major red flags about the cartel’s credibility in the eyes of some users.
Twitter users and viewers of the video piled on the GoFundMe request, suggesting the story was made up or simply a scam (either by the original poster or the woman in the video) to promote the donation page.
“This is false. You are a horrible person,” said one reply. Another Twitter user wrote: “A Gofundme because you haven’t taught your son to treat things right? No.”
“You are very bad at lying, you know that,” said another respondent.
After receiving tons of responses and reactions to the GoFundMe and the explanation, Shania shared another video update from the woman in the first video.
“I guess everyone says they want to know who it is. So now they know it’s me. It’s my son. It’s my house,” he told the camera.
“No, he’s not 12 years old. It wasn’t for a cell phone. He’s 15 years old, 6 feet tall and 270 pounds, so no, I can’t spank him.”
As he walked through the apartment sharing more of the damage, he says, “The damage is real. The window is still broken. The marble is still broken. I don’t know what anyone wants from me. My son is mentally ill, I’ve dealt with this for 15 years and it sucks that I trusted someone and they sent the video.”
While the second video appears to confirm that there was significant damage, at the time of publication, news week could not independently verify the cause.
news week reached out to the woman in the video for comment, but she was unwilling to provide a recorded response, so news week has so far been unable to corroborate his story.
Likewise, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the video is a scam, although that possibility cannot be ruled out. It’s unclear if the GoFundMe campaign is actually connected to the person in the video or her friend.
news week has contacted GoFundMe for comment.
Despite arguments about the true cause of the damage and skepticism from many viewers of the viral video, the GoFundMe page exceeded its goal by more than $10,000 at the time of this writing.
There are several unproven or misleading claims surrounding this video.
It doesn’t show damage caused by a 12-year-old boy, as the original poster made clear, and claims that the damage was caused by an abusive ex also don’t appear to be substantiated, though they can’t be completely ruled out.
Skeptics’ claims that it is a ploy to get donations are also unverified. The second video at least confirms the extent of the damage, though it doesn’t amount to confirmation that it was caused by a 15-year-old with mental health issues.
FACT CHECK BY Newsweek