THE mother who posted a photo of an innocent man on Facebook labeling him a creep — which then went viral — has tearfully apologized for her actions after receiving death threats.
The Knox woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had received death threats after she mistakenly believed the man was taking photos of her children at a Star Wars display at Target at Westfield Knox a few days ago, and then posted his photo online.
Her apology follows a social media firestorm with hundreds angrily condemning her actions online after the self-confessed “daggy dad” said he had been left devastated at being labelled a pedophile after taking a selfie at the display for his adult and teenage kids.
The woman contacted Knox Leader this morning and said she wanted to apologize for putting the photo on Facebook a few days ago.
She broke down in tears several times during the conversation.
She had been unable to sleep since the incident and received two death threats, one in person and the other on Facebook.
Her children are set to receive counselling because they are so upset by it.
“My kids are now suffering because of a stupid mistake I made,” she said.
She has been trying to get in touch with the man and wants to apologize in person.
She had not heard from him and did not know whether he planned to take legal action against her.
“It was never done with the intention of splashing it all over these social media pages,” she said.
The woman said she thought her Facebook page was on private when she put the post up — but now realizes she never should have posted the photo at all.
“I just need to say sorry … for not letting (the police) do their job, and putting my concerns on social media.”
“My children are going through an enormous amount of pain (because of this) and I hate to think what (the man) and his family are going through.
“I just don’t know how to say sorry enough.”
The woman said she removed the post immediately when she realized she was wrong and was “stupid” to post it in the first place.
She said the incident had taught her not to be so quick to assume and not to accuse anybody on social media.
She said she was now aware of the damage such a post could cause, and how quickly it could be shared on social media.
She has vowed never to post anything like that again and urged others to do the same.
“Trust the police — leave it up to them, don’t go putting anything up on social media.
“I should not have put any picture on any social media, even if I thought it was private.
“One thousand times over I wish I could just take it back.
“I think the biggest lesson out of it all is not to post anything that could hurt anybody on any media.”
She is still using Facebook but has stopped posting anything and now has it set on private.
The maligned dad, who lives in Melbourne’s outer east, said he was alerted by a friend to his image on Facebook and immediately went to Knox Police Complex to explain what had happened.
The police checked his phone and thoroughly investigated his story.
“That’s more than what the woman did who posted my photo without any investigation or course of natural justice,” he said.
But he said the episode had left him shattered: “I felt sick. I am so embarrassed and devastated.”
“People need to get their information from proper news sources rather than rely on drama queens who share things without thought on Facebook.”