An Australian father of three has been publicly labeled a 'paedophile', after an angry woman posted a photo of him online, having incorrectly assumed that he was taking pictures of her children, when he was actually taking a selfie to send to his own kids.
The man had been in a shopping mall in Melbourne, Australia, when he saw a Star Wars poster, and decided to take a selfie next to the image of Darth Vader to send to his children.
However, as Sky News reports, a nearby woman believed that he was pointing his phone's main camera at her children, and took a photo of him, which she then posted on Facebook, calling him a "creep". (Editor's note: The man's face was blurred out later, to protect his identity when reporting on this incident.) It went on to be shared over 20,000 times, which led to the man being widely labeled a paedophile.
The man found out about this after one of his friends saw the photo being shared on Facebook, and he immediately contacted the police to clear his name, showing them the selfie that he had taken in front of the poster to share with his kids.
He told Daily Mail Australia: "I'm a father of three kids and a normal human being... I've never taken a selfie before. I was in two minds whether to take the selfie, but I thought it'll be a good daggy dad joke. In real terms, it was embarrassing enough to be standing in front of Darth Vader to be honest."
He is reportedly considering taking legal action for the defamation that resulted from the photo's distribution across social media.
The woman who posted the photo soon realized her mistake, and took it down as soon as she did, but by then it was too late, as it had been shared thousands of times. She says she's so far received two death threats in relation to the incident, and her children have had to receive counseling.
"My kids are now suffering because of a stupid mistake I made," she said. She has also apologized publicly for her error in judgment and "for not letting [the police] do their job".
Source and images: Sky News