CHALLENGE: When desperate mother and anti-bullying advocate Yarraka Bayles posted a heartbreaking video on Facebook of her distressed and bullied son Quaden, it went viral with 23 million views in two days. A GoFundMe campaign was launched by American comedian Brad Williams, who was born with the same form of dwarfism as Quaden. However, when his funding goal of $10,000 was blitzed and $700,000 raised it brought its own complications, with trolls and abusive social media posts claiming the video was a scam and Quaden was aged 18, not 9.
STRATEGY: Sefiani was asked to help, by global law firm K&L Gates who was assisting the Bayles family pro bono to get abusive social posts and trolls removed for legal reasons. Sefiani worked pro bono to devise a highly credible campaign to dispel damaging misinformation and get Quaden’s true story told. Yarraka helped identify 10 interviewees as well as celebrity advocates with large social media followings in America from where most vilification originated.
IMPACT: Sefiani approached ABC’s multi-award winning program Australian Story who agreed to produce a 30-minute documentary about Quaden’s life. When it aired, “About a Boy” had over 1 million views, its YouTube post 700,000 views and importantly it ranks No. 1 in online search for Quaden Bayles. “About a Boy” was shared with American celebrities to post on their social channels and over 350 factual media stories ran in Australia and worldwide. Yarraka continues to be an anti-bullying advocate and was offered a book deal to tell Quaden’s story.