A Dallas mother was shocked after she found a man posting pictures of her daughter on Facebook claiming the child was his.
Danica Patterson is a victim of digital kidnapping. A stranger living in New York posted pictures of her 4-year-old daughter onto his Facebook page claiming the girl was his daughter, CBSDFW reported.
“It was my daughter! All over his page,” Patterson told CBSDFW. “It’s scary. That’s the only thing I can really say, it’s scary.”
What’s more disturbing is that the strange man even added comments to the photos.
“Y’all can’t say [my] daughter not [my] twin," one comment read.
“[My] daughter [sic]gunna break y’all sons [sic] hearts…” read another.
Patterson said someone sent her screenshots of the man’s Facebook posts. She said she tried reporting the pictures to no avail.
“They’re telling me to report the pictures specifically, which I can’t do because he blocked me,” she said. “The only way I can report anything is by reporting his whole profile.”
According to Patterson, Facebook told her that the man’s profile met its “community standards.”
“Facebook sees no problem with this man pretending this little girl is his,” Patterson added.
John Browning, an attorney specializing in social media, called the crime “digital kidnapping.”
“It’s occurring nationwide. And it’s, sadly, creepy but not directly illegal,” he told CBSDFW.
Browning added that while Texas law protects people from impersonation, those same laws can’t be applied to people pretending to be related to you.
“It kind of falls through the cracks there… very much in a gray area,” Browning said.