Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it has banned an advertiser that used photographs of a deceased Canadian bullying victim in an ad for an online dating website.
A Facebook user noticed the ad, which featured a photo of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Halifax girl who died after a suicide attempt that followed months of cyber bullying and an alleged sexual assault.
The user posted screen grabs of the ad to Twitter, provoking immediate outrage and a quick response from Facebook.
“This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the Internet and using it in their ad campaign,” a spokeswoman for Facebook said in an email.
She said the ad was removed as soon as it came to their attention, and the advertiser’s account was permanently deleted.
“This is a gross violation of our ad policies,” the spokeswoman said. “We apologize for any harm this has caused.”