An innocent Star Wars selfie near a Target in Melbourne, Australia, has gone horribly wrong for one father of three, who was just trying to snap a fun pic for his kids.
The incident is a lesson in why you should never blindly share things on social media without first doing some legwork to see if it's actually true or not.
The identities of all parties have been concealed in what you're about to read to protect the privacy of the victim, who has already received multiple death threats as a result. The original report comes by way of the Daily Mail, and it's scary because it could truly happen to anyone.
The story was also picked up by Australian news sources like the Herald Sun.
A mother snapped a photo of the man after mistakenly identifying him as a child predator, or "creep" to use her exact terminology, and posted it to her Facebook page with the following message.
The father of three (blurred in the featured image at the top of this article) was in reality only posing for a Star Wars selfie in front of a May the Fourth Be with You sign that featured Darth Vader.
He figured his kids would get a kick out of it, so he snapped the pic as some children (presumably his accuser's kids) were lining up to do the same.
The woman apparently assumed that he was snapping pics of her kids instead of using the front-facing camera to photograph himself.
After her post was shared more than 20,000 times, it reportedly turned his life upside down, and he confirmed to the Daily Mail Australia that he has yet to receive an apology.
The man said he was a father of three who knew his kids loved Star Wars, adding that he had "never taken a selfie before," and thought it might be "a good daggy dad joke."
The man said that as he lined up to take the photo, he told the kids that he would "only be a second" and that there was no parent present. But as he was leaving the Target, the woman "stalked me" and snapped a pic -- the below image that would eventually end up affixed to her incriminating post.
The man said he contacted police right away. His phone was searched and they saw no reason to bring charges, but as he notes about social media, "once it's out there it can't be retracted."
Since the woman has issued no public apology, the unwanted and unfriendly attention is still coming in, though the man also notes that he's received some apologies from individuals who shared it, "which are appreciated."
Here's the full image that got the man into trouble.
What do you think about this, readers? Should people like the woman who misinterpreted the Star Wars selfie be subject to legal damages and possible criminal charges for things like this, or was it just an innocent mistake? Sound off in the comments section.
[All Images via Facebook c/o The Daily Mail, linked above]