LCSO investigating explicit Facebook spam

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 3, 2018

Photo: Pixabay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Authorities across the country, including those in Leon County, are investigating a series of Facebook messages that contain images that show what appears to be a sexual encounter between an adult and a child.

WCTV has learned multiple law enforcement agencies across the country - including those in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and Denver, Colorado - are investigating. The Leon County Sheriff's Office has also launched an investigation into the images.


Multiple media outlets, including WCTV, have received the potential spam. Upon receipt, WCTV station management reported the messages to local authorities.

The message, along with the explicit image, contains text requesting to make the image "go viral" to get justice for the victim.

Law enforcement strongly suggests if you receive the message to delete it. Do not open it and do not forward it.

“We do not allow the sharing of child exploitative images on Facebook or Messenger -- even to express outrage. Regardless of intention, sharing such imagery is harmful and illegal," said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to WCTV. "When we become aware of such images, we remove them and notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We urge people never to share such content and to report it to local authorities immediately.”

Facebook said it has not seen any instances of the image being shared with the intent to exploit, but rather users were sharing to increase awareness and to try to help. But, Facebook reminds users that the sharing of this content – no matter the intention – is illegal, and is encouraging people to report the content to local authorities.

Facebook also says it has banked the image using its PhotoDNA technology to prevent future uploads.

More information on what to do if you have received the message can be found here.

Facebook's full statement to WCTV can be read below:

"We do not allow the sharing of child exploitative images on Facebook or Messenger -- even to express outrage. Regardless of intention, sharing such imagery is harmful and illegal. When we become aware of such images, we remove them and notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We urge people never to share such content and to report it to local authorities immediately.”



 
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