Facebook just banned a dating site from putting ads on its pages, after the site used the photo of a 17-year-old girl, who recently hanged herself after bring raped, for one of their ads.
The site, ionechat.com, seemingly grabbed one of the Canadian girl's photos off of Facebook, and placed it in their Facebook ad. The photo of the girl, Rehtaeh Parsons, popped up on Rob Russell's newsfeed, who recognized the girl. "Immediately I thought, 'Wow, somebody must not know whose picture they're using here,'" Russell said. Soon, Parsons' father, Glen Canning, found out about the ad.
"I'm literally just speechless over this. This is just disgusting," he said.
Parsons killed herself in April after being bullied for a number of years. She was raped when she was 15, and classmates harassed her by posting and passing around photos of the gang rape. "What a thing for a parent to see. Especially because Rehtaeh is the victim of a sexual assault and they have her on a dating website," Canning continued. "Not only that, she's also a minor. What does that say?"
Facebook said that the company will never be allowed to post on their site again. Parsons didn't even have a Facebook profile anymore, and the photo was likely grabbed from a memorial Facebook page set up for her. "This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image and using it in their ad campaign," a spokesperson from Facebook wrote in a statement. "We apologize for any harm this has caused."
Remember, if you see someone being bullied, or are the victim of bullying, whether physical or online, report it. You can get help at a number of sites, including StopBullying.org.
[via CBC News]