Claims made by a university student in which she believes she’s Madeleine McCann, have sparked outrage online.
Initially, Harriet Brookes messaged her friends to share her theory – which was intended to be a joke – after realising she had some incredible resemblances to the missing child who vanished in 2007, writing:
She wrote: ‘Right guys. I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann’.
However, Harriet’s ‘theory’ quickly went incredibly viral after screenshots from the group chat were posted on Twitter by her friend Elizabeth, reports Daily Mail.
Harriet shared a photo of herself and Madeleine when they were both children and it’s safe to say they look almost identical – this was followed up with ‘proof’ – the brown spot on her iris.
Finally she shared a photo of another brown spot on her left leg, very similar to one which Madeleine also has.
Now – as anyone with half a brain could figure, the post isn’t true. Harriet Brookes isn’t Madeleine McCann.
It’s impossible in numerous ways, one of them being that Madeleine would be significantly younger than Harriet.
i know!! obviously i dont think i’m madeleine mccann, media just take everything out of context ahahahah
— harriet ✿ (@Harriet_Brookes) November 25, 2017
It was meant as a joke, a poorly judged one perhaps, but a joke all the same.
However it hasn’t stopped Harriet from attracting countless abuse across the Internet.
One person wrote:
So in summing up: ‘Woman acts like a complete attention seeking idiot by announcing she is a missing child at least five years younger than she is.’ No you are not Madeleine love, I hope that clears that up!
Madeleine McCann would be 14 now not at Uni ?
— Amanda Miller (@Mandomi6) November 25, 2017
I've figured out that the girl who 'thinks' she might be Madeleine Mccann definitely isn't
— ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby ruby (@jiessiepaege) November 24, 2017
I dont understand why people joke about Madeleine McCann ….
— Niãmh O'Flãherty (@nixmhoflxherty) November 24, 2017
If she thinks she's madeleine mccann with her eye then wtf am I ???? https://t.co/HFt19qkmyZ
— sophieeeee ? (@sophierydingsx) November 24, 2017
A very sick mind that whats to harm the continued search for Madeleine #mccann
— woolyback (@woolyback12) November 24, 2017
Mad how people can crack jokes about Madeleine McCann. Say what you want about her parents but there’s never anything funny about missing/dead children.
— B E L L A (@ohbellablog) November 24, 2017
Hopefully the abuse dies down soon enough and Harriet learns her lesson from what’s clearly a poor joke gone very wrong, very wrong via the Internet.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.