Danica Patterson is the mom of an adorable four-year-old named Bryleigh, and being understandably and justifiably proud of her little girls, Danica often posts pictures of the smiling child on her Facebook page. But on Monday of this week, something chilling and more than a little creepy happened — and she says that Facebook management refused to do anything about it.
“All my family is in different states, so this is the only way they can see her,” Patterson explained. “I thought my profile was set to ‘private,’ but I didn’t know posts can be public.”
Photos of Bryleigh turned up on the Facebook page of a total stranger, a man in — his page said — The Bronx, New York, who posted several pictures of the four-year-old lifted from Patterson’s own page.
As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, the man — someone calling himself Ramon Figueroa — posted the shots of Bryleigh as if she were his own daughter.
Figueroa — if in fact that is who really operated the Facebook page — captioned one photo of Bryleigh, “Y’all can’t say ma daughter not ma twin.”
On another, the apparently young man commented, “This is how she looks in the morning… she said daddy stop [taking pictures].”
Why would someone thousands of miles away repost photos of a little girl that he doesn’t even know to pretend online that he has a daughter? That’s just one piece of this mystery.
“There’s something wrong,” Patterson told Dallas TV station WFAA. “Whether he was using them for attention from females; whether he was using them for sick reasons; I don’t know. Either way there’s something wrong.”
Patterson first tried sending a direct message on Facebook to Figueroa, asking him what was going on — and to take the pictures down. But the man simply blocked her.
So she took the next step — she reported the photos to Facebook. And about 40 of her friends did the same thing. Eventually she got a response from Facebook management, but it was a disappointing one.
The company told her that Figueroa’s page was fine, because it met Facebook‘s “community standards.”
“Facebook sees no problem with this man pretending this little girl is his,” said the stunned mom.
But when another TV station, Dallas-area KCEN, asked the massive social media firm for a response, Facebook sang a different tune.
“This type of content violates our standards. Once a parent or guardian reports it to us, we work quickly to remove it,” the company said.
The photos disappeared on Wednesday. By Friday, Figueroa’s Facebook page also appeared to have been deleted from Facebook. But Danica Patterson says she will continue to fight with the company until she’s sure that the bizarre and creepy problem is dealt with.
[Image: WFAA Screen Grab]