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A shocked mother discovered a photo of her family in a Facebook ad for a face mask that claimed most of the family members pictured had died of COVID-19.
CBS reports that the image, a professional photo of the Ancich family taken for a holiday card eight years ago, appeared in a face mask ad placed on the social network.
Mom Sara Ancich told CBS that she was inundated with Facebook messages from concerned family members and friends after the ad appeared. The ad claimed that the family became victims of the coronavirus pandemic after attending a church service. It said that all but the youngest son had died of COVID-19, according to CBS.
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The video describes a teenager’s survival as a result of the face mask. The teen is falsely identified as a member of the Ancich family, CBS reports.
The photo of the Ancich family.
The ad has reportedly been taken down by Facebook. Fox News has reached out to Facebook with a request for comment on this story.
AFP Fact Check reports that the ad, along with another version advertising the face mask, racked up over 1 million views on Facebook. “The misleading ads, which play heavily on fears with dramatic music in the background, have been viewed more than 1.1 million times on Facebook,” it writes.
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CBS reports that while Sara Ancich said that the image was posted to social media years ago, it also showed up on several Pinterest boards following a reverse Google image search.
A woman holds her mobile phone in front of a computer screen with facebook logo for illustration purposes during Coronavirus pandemic, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski on April 14, 2020.
(Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The videos advertised the same product linked to two different websites, which are both now unavailable, according to AFP Fact Check.
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As of Thursday afternoon, more than 2 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, at least 639,733 of which are in the U.S. The disease has accounted for at least 139,419 deaths around the world, including at least 30,985 people in the U.S.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers.