A fake news-site based in Manila has issued a public apology to a Filipino maid, who has worked in Hong Kong since 2006, for misusing her photo in an article that led to her being criticised online.

On October 31, Juliet Lindo, a 34-year-old single mother of two, sent an online message to Trending News Portal (TNP) demanding that they publicly apologize for damaging her reputation by using a photo of her in an article that attracted 6,400 likes and reactions, 794 comments, and was shared about 1,000 times, The Sun reported.

TNP, which was identified as a fake news-site by The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, acquired Lindo’s photo from the internet and used it in a news report recycled from 22 years ago about a Filipino domestic worker in Hong Kong who pleaded guilty to signing a false notice for the purpose of marrying a local man.

Although the photo was blurred, many foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong recognized Lindo in the photo and believed she was the woman in the story. Lindo received more than 500 hurtful messages as a result.

TNP deleted Lindo’s photo from the article within several hours. However, the article was still being circulated among domestic workers in Hong Kong. 

Lindo demanded a public apology. She also told TNP that she might call a Manila-based radio-TV program and discuss the problem.

TNP issued a public apology to Lindo on the same day. “We would like to clarify that she is in no way connected with this case. We do not have any intention to damage her image in any way. We are sincerely apologizing for those who are further affected by the misuse of her photo,” it said. 

Lindo told The Sun: “TNP should double-check their news before going public because it is not easy to fix the damage it can do to other people.”