Every day, social media is flooded with posts solely put out there to gain likes and shares from people, and many of them contain emotive and subjects and language to really pull on people's heartstrings. Colette Flannagan is a mum from Belfast whose spoken out to warn others after her son's photo was taken as part of online scams asking people to "like and write #AMEN", and naturally she was devastated by what she saw.

Daire Flannagan was born with Apert Syndrome, which severely diminished his chances of living for more than two days. It's a rare genetic condition that affects around 1 in 100,000 births, and forces the plates of the skull to fuse together meaning the brain cannot grow normally - leading to an overlarge forehead, wide-spaced eyes and sunken features. Defying the odds, Daire underwent life-saving surgery to allow more space for his brain to grow.

Credit: TLC/Barcroft

Now flourishing, his mum Colette was shocked to find that her son's photo had been used not once, but multiple times on viral posts begging for likes.

Credit: Barcroft

The picture on this particular post seems to have been removed, but the status is still active, and it currently stands at nearly 6,000 likes, 2,000 shares and 2,400 comments. Some comments from people who know the family claim that Facebook wouldn't remove the photo as it "doesn't violate their policy", and that they were "sickened" by the "pathetic" post.

Credit: Facebook

Colette's now spoken out to warn people of these hoax appeals, in the hopes that one day people will stop targeting her son.

I was shaking and crying thinking 'how dare they use my son in this sick way to gain likes?

I have found eight fake posts so far and every day we are finding another one.
It's just sickening.
I felt like I had let him down its my job to keep him safe and this is something I have no control over.
Some of the comments weren't nice I didn't read them very much as I was disgusted at grown ups behaviour towards an innocent 7 year old boy.

It's just pathetic really, and we really hope whoever's responsible finds something better to do with their time.

Jade Moscrop

Jade Moscrop heads up the Pretty52 team. She has an unhealthy obsession with her dog, loves all varieties of cheese and doesn't mind a glass of wine or two.

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