Lindsey Stone had a running joke with one of her friends. Whenever either of them came across a sign, they would pose in a way that would seem defiant of the sign, goofing off around the sign and doing the opposite to what it said. For instance, if there was a non-smoking sign, she would pose underneath it smoking a cigarette.
The photo that sparked outrage across the internet
In 2012, Lindsey made the unfortunate mistake of taking a photo in front of a “silence and respect sign” at the Arlington National Cemetery where she can be seen screaming and flipping the bird. That day her friend posted it to his Facebook page. This is where knowing how your Facebook privacy settings work, can spare you a lot of pain.
Her friend asked her if they should take it down after some people found it to be offensive, but Lindsey said no, that it would blow over and soon be forgotten. The friend’s settings were completely open and some of her Facebook friends that took offense to the post shared it on their pages and within a few days it had gone viral.
It didn’t take long for the public outcry to begin, with comments like “Lindsey Stone Hates the Military” and “Lindsey Hates Soldiers who have Died in Foreign Wars”.
“You should rot in hell”, said another.
Lindsey became obsessed with reading the comments on social media and became increasingly distraught and depressed.
Soon, a Facebook page called “Fire Lindsey Stone” was created. It took as little as 3 days for her post to completely destroy her life. She was fired from her job and lost many friends. It could have all been prevented had her friend changed the settings of his Facebook posts to private.