“Earlier on Wednesday 7NEWS wrongly showed images of a man that were incorrectly labelled as the person under arrest over disappearance of Cleo Smith,” the publication shared on its page.
“These were removed promptly, but 7NEWS apologises for the error.”
7News’ apology for the error was, ironically, riddled with errors.
Prior to 7News’ apology, Instagram page Aussie Influencer Opinions slammed the mistake in a series of Instagram Stories, writing: “Today this post was shared. The WRONG man was named and his photos were posted.
7News has since taken this post down, but no apology has been made.”
They added, “This man below has now had to remove his social media accounts due to the harassment received. Shame on you @7newsaustralia.”
Ngaarda Media slammed the grave error in a post shared to Facebook, writing: “MEDIA OUTLET WRONGLY ACCUSES INDIGENOUS MAN OF ABDUCTING CLEO SMITH.”
“A man who has been wrongly accused has been harassed online due to misinformation. He shares the same name as the alleged abductor,” the post reads.
“Nyamal woman, [redacted], is the Aunty of [redacted] who has had his photos taken from FB and connected to Cleo Smith’s abduction.
“Because people jump the gun when they look up Facebook, they put in [redacted] straight away, a lot of angry people and they have across the wrong [redacted].”
They added that the incorrectly listed person has contacted the police and that he is “devastated.”
“He broke down and cried and he was sobbing,” the post continued. “I’d like people to wait for the police to give out information.”
Aussie Influencer Opinions later pointed out that Seven’s apology was “posted on their main website, not on any of their social platforms.”
Missing four-year-old Cleo Smith, who disappeared while camping with her family in Western Australia on October 16, was found “alive and well” yesterday.
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said Cleo had been found in the early hours of this morning inside a Carnarvon home, with a man taken into custody.