A photo capturing the day your first child is born is a moment parents will cherish forever. But one mother in Connecticut says that very same photo is creating a living nightmare for her.
“It’s something that I kind of don’t believe at times that it really happened to me,” Karena Bennett told ABC News.
The photo of her family was originally posted with an article on the Milford Mirror in January 2015 about Bennett’s son being the first baby born in the New Year at the Milford Hospital in Connecticut. The same photo resurfaced on Feb. 17 with a very different story. The headline read, “Detroit Woman Gives Birth to Her 14th Child from 14 Different Fathers” on WorldNewsDailyReport.com, a satirical entertainment news site.
The hoax is now going viral after Bennett was tagged in the story on Facebook by a former co-worker.
“To be honest, I thought it was a joke,” she said. “I laughed about it.”
The article ties Bennett and her family’s image to the fabricated story of a woman named Anita Sullivan. As the story spread, it began to take an emotional toll on Bennett.
“I started getting more and more notifications on my Facebook,” she explained. “When people are really starting to make comments about your person, calling you ugly, calling you fat, those were the comments that really started to hurt me a lot. That’s where I started to break down, seeing comments from 30,000 people.”
The disclaimer posted on WorldNewsDailyReport.com reads, “WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”
According to experts, all photos posted on public sites are at risk. So how can you protect yourself? Experts say to mark your pages as private, or watermark your photos.
“If it wasn’t watermarked and if it wasn’t copyrighted, anyone can grab the photo and do whatever they want with it,” said Lori Getz, founder of Cyber Education Consultants. “Unfortunately, the law hasn’t caught up with that technology.”
World News Daily Report has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.