One mother from Dallas faced a nightmare of the modern age when her daughter was ‘digitally kidnapped’.
Now for those of you who, like me before reading Danica Patterson’s story, don’t know what it is, let me enlighten you. Digital kidnapping is where someone takes images of a person that are posted online, be it on Facebook or somewhere else, and then pretends to know them or be related to them. Creepy right?
It is made worse by the fact it is such a legally grey area, and one consulting attorney who specialises in social media, John Browning, explained that while you cannot legally impersonate someone, there is no law in pretending someone is related to you.
That is exactly what happened to Patterson’s four year old daughter, with Ramon Figueroa taking her photos and putting them all over his profile, pretending she was his daughter.
It really is enough to give you shivers down your spine, with the delusional man captioning the photos with a variety of disturbing things such as: “Ma daughter gunna break y’all sons hearts,” and “Girl version of me,” and “This is how she looks in the morning… she said daddy stop [taking pictures].”
There really are no words sometimes and Bryleigh’s mother was rightly frightened, and after being sent screenshots of his profile by a friend, she sought legal advice, and was told her only option was to complain to Facebook, and send a message to Figueroa asking if he would remove the images. He then blocked her, but Facebook’s response was even more alarming.
Facebook initially claimed he had met their standards with his profile, but after Patterson’s story hit the media, they revised their position.
They told News 8:
This type of content violates our standards. Once a parent or guardian reports it to us, we work quickly to remove it.
While the picture has been taken down, Figueroa’s profile remains active.
This story could not be more alarming, and you have to wonder if we are going to be hearing much more about digital kidnapping in the future.