Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Photos of Rehtaeh Parsons Appeared in Facebook Dating Ads

Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh Parsons

This, in and of itself might not seem so bad, but the Nova Scotia teen committed suicide in 2011, at age 17, from online bullying stemming from an acquaintance rape. She was 15 when four boys at a friend’s house allegedly raped her, photographed it and circulated photos of the assault online. Police never filed a report. She was bullied mercilessly by her classmates until she hanged herself.

Now, an advertiser on Facebook has been found using Rehtaeh’s photos to promote online dating with the heading: Find Love in Canada! At left, a photo of the late Rehtaeh Parsons taken from Facebook. The ads read “Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating or relationships. Signup Now!” Given what happened to Rehtaeh, it is hard to imagine an ad that could have been more inappropriate.

Outraged complaints caused Facebook to pull the ads and permanently ban that advertiser from the site. In a statement Wednesday, Facebook said that the add was a ”gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser’s account.” They added, ”We apologize for any harm this has caused.”

The Vietnamese owner of, Anh Dung, said he was unaware of the teen’s story adding, ”I feel so guilty when I think of it and I don’t want to run it anymore.”

After Gang-Rape Photo Goes Viral, 17-Year-Old Victim Hangs Herself

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