DEBUNKED: Proof bullied boy age rumour is a lie
False claims about Quaden Bayles age have caused the internet to leap to his defence, many providing "proof" the claims are completely fake.
The young Australian boy living with dwarfism captivated people all around the world after his mum posted a heartbreaking video showing the impacts of bullying.
Yarraka Bayles, who has long been an advocate for indigenous issues and dwarfism, shared the video of her son Quaden to her Facebook on Wednesday, after picking him up from school "in hysterics".
The footage shows the distraught nine-year-old boy in tears, saying he wanted "to die" because of the bullying he receives at school.
The video quickly went viral and since then people from around the world, including celebrities, have reached out and offered immense support to the young boy.
A GoFundMe page to send Quaden to Disneyland has raised over $US435,000 ($A656,000).
But just days after the video was uploaded a strange rumour started spreading on social media claiming Quaden and his mum were lying about his age and he was actually 18.
The false claims appears to have originated from a post on Facebook circulating on Twitter claiming the boy's plight was a scam.
"Just so you know he scammed everybody … he's 18, has plenty of money and yeah everyone fell for it," the person wrote.
Part of the so-called proof the Facebook user offered up was his vast following on Instagram and claims he had a post about his 18th birthday.
The rumour instantly took off, forcing Quaden's mum to share a post on Facebook that shuts down the reports, written by a woman who said she has "known Quaden since before this s**t blew up".
"Ima (sic) say this once and that's that. I've know about Quaden since before this s**t blew up. Yes, he's 9! Dwarfism is not a joke, is he a model or actor?
" … so are a lot of kids … That doesn't mean s**t!"
Numerous social media users have also jumped to the boy's defence, shaming the people spreading this vicious rumour and saying there is plenty of "proof" against it.
Celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton recently tweeted "facts" about Quaden's Bayles age for those "doubting" - providing evidence the rumours were false.
If you STILL are doubting Quaden Bayles’ age... facts HERE: https://t.co/SOLrzqZTDN— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) February 22, 2020
Even rapper Cardi B has weighed in on the claim, telling her 53.9m followers that people "everyday" act up for Instagram, adding she saw the video and she was "so sad".
Here's some of the evidence being shared online that completely shuts down this bizarre claim.
THE 18TH PARTY PHOTOS
Photos of Quaden at an 18th birthday party have been used as one of the main reasons for his age being called into question.
However, as many people have pointed out, those photos were taken at the birthday party of one of a person named Garlen, one of Quaden's friends.
A printed out photo of the nine-year-old posing with a group of older boys has the words, "Garlen's 18th birthday" written underneath it.
also in case anyone is questioning the whole "quaden bayles is 18" situation the proof is right here: he is a 9-year-old kid but believe what you want i guess🤷 pic.twitter.com/Ql3Ykc2Bat— ٍِ (@koscheicore) February 21, 2020
PREVIOUS TV APPEARANCES
This is not the first time Quaden has been in the spotlight, having previously appeared on news programs and TV documentaries when he was younger.
A video from 2015 shows a four-year-old Quaden appearing with his mum on Studio 10 to raise awareness for dwarfism.
During the interview he sits on his mum's lap and playing with toys.
For the theory of Quaden's age to be correct he would have to be 13 in this video, which is clearly not the case.
It is so weird and wrong to even need to prove this but for anyone who still believes the ridiculous conspiracy theory Quaden Bayles is an adult, here he is on @Studio10au in 2015, aged four. NB No front teeth. We will blow this open next week: https://t.co/kgSLoHsh1c— Joe Hildebrand (@Joe_Hildebrand) February 22, 2020
That year Quaden also appeared on an episode of the SBS show "Living Black", which covered the issues affecting people in the Aboriginal community.
The episode is about him preparing to have surgery on his brain and spine. During the show he is once again described as a four-year-old boy.
There have also been numerous news articles about Quaden over the years and his mum's fight against bullying.
In 2016 news.com.au interviewed Ms Bayles about her five-year-old son and the bond he had formed with their rescue dog, Buddy.
ACTOR, MODEL AND INFLUENCER
Another common aspect of Quaden's life that people are using the fuel the rumour is his vast online following and his past experience in acting and modelling.
A talent profile for the young boy lists him as an actor, extra, model and influencer.
Though people have claimed his past experiences in these fields somehow prove he is older than he says, his profile appears to prove the exact opposite.
In his bio it states he is eight years old, though it is unclear when this was last updated.
His past experiences in acting and modelling are listed as "previous unpaid speaking roles" and "beginner" modelling experience, which makes sense for his young age.
The page also links to his past TV appearances which both state he filmed when he was four.
DRINKING OUT OF A WINE GLASS
A photo showing Ms Bayles and her son each holding a glass with what some people have claimed is wine has also fuelled the rumour of Quaden's age.
Conveniently, the photo, which was taken from Ms Bayle's Instagram page, had been cropped to cut out the bottle sitting on the table that clearly shows they are drinking sparkling apple juice, not wine.
Just like many other parents, Ms Bayles has documented her son's milestones on Facebook and Instagram.
Posts from when he was born in 2010 right up until now show how Quaden has grown up over the years.
There are numerous baby photos and pictures from his birthday parties, making it difficult to believe they could all be fake or misleading.