Facebook Apologises After Bullied Suicide Teen's Photo Is Used To Promote Online Dating

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Facebook apologises after suicide teen's pic is used to promote online dating

Facebook have apologised after a company used an image of a dead teenager to advertise a dating service on the networking site.

Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, attempted suicide in April this year, and was left in a coma. She had endured severe bullying after a photograph showing her alleged rape by four boys was circulated online.

The Canadian teenager's father said he has been left 'disgusted' by the advert, while her mum said the family were 'constantly reliving the nightmare over and over again'.

The advert showed Rehtaeh's picture alongside the words: 'Find love in Canada! Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating or relationships. Sign up now!'

It was linked to a website called, which has now been taken down.

Facebook said it was an 'extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the internet and using it in their ad campaign'.

"This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser's account. We apologise for any harm this caused," their spokesperson told the BBC.

Rehtaeh's family say the teenager was gang-raped when she was 15, and a photo of the alleged attack was then circulated on Facebook. Distraught Rehtaeh attempted to hang herself at the family home in Nova Scotia on April 4 this year. She ended up in a coma in hospital and her family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life-support machine three days later.

Metro reports that two 18-year-old men are due to appear in court tomorrow charged with child pornography offences in relation to the distribution of the original photographs of Rehtaeh.


Suggest a correction