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Facebook bans dating site that used Rehtaeh Parsons’s photo in an ad
Parsons, a victim of sexual assault and intense cyberbullying, died in April after a suicide attempt.
A user flagged the ionechat.com ad to Facebook. It featured a photo of Parsons, who lived in Nova Scotia, under the headline “Find Love In Canada!”
Uh, this picture of Rehtaeh Parsons is being used in a Facebook ad? pic.twitter.com/KTXZM3ncNk
— Kevin J Naulls (@kevinjn) September 17, 2013
Facebook confirmed Tuesday it had permanently banned Ionechat as an advertiser. The dating site’s owner, Anh Dung, has since deleted it.
A Facebook spokeswoman said the company prohibits mocking the victims of violent crimes, a policy the ad violated.
Parsons was gang raped in 2011, at the age of 15. Photos of the incident went viral on Facebook and bullies tormented the Nova Scotia teen for months before she tookher own life.
Photo via Rehtaeh Parsons tribute page/Facebook
Based in Montreal, Kris Holt has been writing about technology and web culture since 2010. He writes for Engadget and Tech News World, and his byline has also appeared in Paste, Salon, International Business Times, Mashable, and elsewhere.