Porn and Violence Floods Facebook Newsfeeds

Facebook is investigating reports that explicit and violent images have been circulating around the social network over the last 24 hours.

The company has said that they are aware of the issue and looking into it, but it remains unclear how the images are being spread.

Cause undetermined

Users have taken to Twitter to complain about the offending images, claiming that they had witnessed pornography and pictures of mutilated animals on their newsfeeds, with some so disgusted that they vowed to quit the social network.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, has speculated that the images could be spreading through a number of ways

“It isn’t presently clear precisely how the offending content has been spread – whether users are falling for a clickjacking scheme, are being tagged in content without their knowledge, have poorly chosen privacy settings, have been tricked into installing malicious code, or have fallen victim to another vulnerability inside Facebook itself,” Cluley said.

“It’s precisely this kind of problem which is likely to drive people away from the site. Facebook needs to get a handle on this problem quickly, and prevent it from happening on such a scale again,” he added.

There has been speculation that hactivist collective Anonymous might be behind the attacks after a video, claiming to be created by them, appeared on YouTube in August threatening to “destroy” the social network in retaliation for spying on users and abusing people’s privacy. However the validity of the video was questioned by experts who believed it to be a hoax.

Facebook has acknowledged the threat of hacking a serious problem and has announced intentions to implement additional security measures. However this did not stop a British student allegedly gaining access to Facebook servers, while another hacker was able to post unofficial status comments on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page, proving that not even he was safe from the issue.

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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