How a young student’s ‘joke’ about being Madeleine McCann quickly got out of hand.


This one should be filed under “poorly thought-out joke that should never have been made public”.

A university student in the UK has received widespread criticism after jokingly claiming she was missing British girl Madeleine McCann.

The Manchester student, Harriet Brookes, made the claims in a private group message with her friends. It was later shared online by more than 30,000 people.

madeleine mccann cruel joke
Image via Facebook.
madeleine mccann cruel joke
Image via Facebook.

"Right guys. I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann," Brookes began in the group chat.

She then shared photographic evidence of the marks on her eyes and legs which are similar to McCann's.

After her friends laughed at her claims, she said: "I’m Madeleine McCann and I don’t know what to do with myself".


Screenshots of the group chat were then shared online by one of her friends.

Obviously Brookes never intended for this joke to be made public and she probably didn't think about the far-reaching ramifications if it did.

Of course, a lot of people are unimpressed with Brookes' joke and would like her to be accountable for her actions.

I think the lesson here is: keep your group chats private and never joke about anything you wouldn't want the whole of Twitter to get a hold of.

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