A woman who dressed as a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing has become the target of a vast - though unsurprising - online backlash.
Identified as 22-year-old Alicia Ann Lynch, the woman Instagrammed a picture of herself dressed as a bloodied runner on Halloween:
— Jillian Elizabeth (@JilianElizabeth) November 1, 2013
Almost immediately the outrage began to multiply online - including from actual victims of the blast.
@SomeSKANKinMI You should be ashamed, my mother lost both her legs and I almost died in the marathon. You need a filter.
— Sydney Corcoran (@Sydney23Lynne) November 2, 2013
@SomeSKANKinMI you are an absolutely disgusting human being.
— kimberlyxo (@kimberlyroslund) October 31, 2013
@SomeSKANKinMI what'd you go as last year, a cancer victim?
— Ryan Leech (@RyanLeech7) October 31, 2013
But soon after the reaction turned frightening, with users of various social media sites quickly establishing the woman's name, address, place of work and other personal details.
A series of naked pictures and videos of the woman were also found and circulated, Lynch said - and her parents were allegedly subject to death threats.
At least one Tweet asking why Lynch had not already been killed was posted online, before the man responsible made his account protected - presumably after experiencing his own backlash.
Lynch reportedly deleted her accounts, but later rejoined Twitter to call for calm saying that "I was the one in the wrong and I am paying for being insensitive".
She also said that she had lost her job as a result of the picture, and offered an extensive apology in an email to Buzzfeed:
"It seems as though my outfit was too soon, and will always be that way, it was wrong of me and very distasteful. My costume was not meant to disrespect anyone, ever. I am truly sorry to anyone that I may have offended or hurt with this. I know my apology doesn’t ever fix anything that has been done, but at least know that I am being sincere.
I can’t undo my actions or make up for them, but my apology is a start. I myself have been through tragic events, I just handle mine differently because that is how I was taught to. I realize I was in the wrong with this and again, I am truly sorry."
In a later interview she added that she "wasn't being disrespectful" as "it’s not like I was walking around with a fake leg or my arm torn off or something like that".
And though the fallout from the picture is likely to follow her for the rest of her life - especially when a prosepective employer Googles her name - she said that she'll be able to cope.
"I have nothing to hide," she said. "It happened, I made a mistake. I just have to learn from it. I’m not a terrible person."
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