The father of a Canadian teenager who killed herself has shared his disgust after Facebook published a dating ad using an image of his daughter, calling it "the worst Facebook ad ever."
"I am completely bewildered and disgusted by this. This is my daughter, Rehtaeh. They have her in an ad for meeting singles. I don't even know what to say," Glen Canning wrote on his website.
Seventeen-year old Parsons committed suicide in April after she experienced online bullying following an alleged rape by four boys at a party in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The incident sparked a great deal of media attention and raised attention for online bullying.
The controversial ad, which has since been taken down by Facebook, apparently featured a photo of Parsons under the title "Find Love in Canada!" BBC News reported. "Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating and relationships," the ad continued. The website behind the ad was no longer online on Wednesday.
One comment under Canning's post read: "I am stunned…Just read about this in the news on the internet."
The Social networking giant has since apologized for the incident, saying it is sorry for any harm it may have caused.
"This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the internet and using it in their ad campaign," a spokesman for Facebook said.
"This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser's account.
One of the main factors behind the online bullying that Parsons suffered was a photo from the party that was circulated through social media.
"People harassed her, boys she didn't know started texting her and Facebooking asking her to have sex with them since she had had sex with their friends. It just never stopped," Leah Parsons, Rehtaeh's mother, shared with CBC News back in April.
The incident, which led to the arrest of two boys, also prompted Nova Scotia to pass new bullying laws which allow targeted teens to sue the parents of the bullies.
"We hope that the new cyberbullying legislation and the charges laid today will send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated," Halifax police Chief Jean-Michel Blais has said.