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A Dating Site Posted A Facebook Ad With The Photo Of A Teenager That Committed Suicide After Her Rape

The dating site's admin claimed he took her photos without knowing who she was.

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According to multiple users, her photo was being used in a Facebook sidebar ad for a website called ionechat.com.

Supreme bad taste: a dating site's Facebook ad is using a picture of Rehteah Parsons.

Andrew Ennals

@andrewennals

Supreme bad taste: a dating site's Facebook ad is using a picture of Rehteah Parsons.

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Multiple photos of her.

And that's not the only picture of #Rehtaeh they're using.

Rob Russell

@www_ora_tion_ca

And that's not the only picture of #Rehtaeh they're using.

/ Via

#Rehtaeh Parsons photo used in dating ad. #Facebook blocks company forever after complaints http://t.co/abFzxZcZZO

Public Anon News

@PublicAnonNews

#Rehtaeh Parsons photo used in dating ad. #Facebook blocks company forever after complaints http://t.co/abFzxZcZZO

/ Via

However, before the site went down, the admin issued an apology.

Website admin apologizes to #Rehtaeh’s family - http://t.co/Mzla2ITvJ5 BS! REDIRECT ONLY #Halifax @JWongGlobalNews

Rasta â„¢

@novascotiarasta

Website admin apologizes to #Rehtaeh’s family - http://t.co/Mzla2ITvJ5 BS! REDIRECT ONLY #Halifax @JWongGlobalNews

/ Via

The website is no longer working because I shut it down, I feel so guilty when I think of it and I don't want to run it anymore, it's just a simple site with 2 pages that I use to promote dating offer to make some money. I did not expect it to cause serious consequences. I feel very sorry for my mistake.I'm so stressed right now so I can't talk anymore.
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Media reports on Tuesday inaccurately said that the Facebook ads were a result of Facebook's system of "social context" advertising. This allows advertisers to use real people's photographs in ads delivered to their friends. For example, if a person named Mary likes a TV show, her friends may see an ad telling them about it; it's an attempt by Facebook to personalize the ad. However, spokesperson Meg Sinclair said in an interview that this was not an example of a Sponsored Story or Social Context ad.

Talking to the BBC, Facebook went on to apologize for the incident, calling it a "a gross violation of their ad policies"

It is disgusting that even in death, my daughter's image is still being exploited. When I see these violations, whether it be the singles ad stealing Rehtaeh's photos -- or the people who contact me and to say negative things such as she should not have been drinking, she was a troubled teen, she was in the wrong crowd -- I sit back and reflect on the reality of who Rehtaeh truly was. Then I think: So what if someone is a troubled teen or was drinking -- as if their behavior or emotional state somehow give permission for others to abuse them.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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