FBI Warns Facebook Users From Circulating Viral Child Porn Video

Several states have informed federal authorities that a child porn video was being circulated on Facebook. The video shows an adult man getting involved in a sexual act with a young girl.

Facebook users began sharing the video after receiving it on their Facebook messenger in hopes to find the man and get help for the young girl. However, the FBI warned users not to circulate the video as, despite the reasons for doing so, those sharing the child porn video could face criminal charges.

Authorities in Florida issued an advisory warning people of the graphic content in the video and urging them to notify Facebook to get the video deleted from the account.

“BE AWARE!! There is currently a Facebook video that is circulating through the Facebook community that shows a pornographic image of a young girl and an adult male. DO NOT SHARE THIS VIDEO!” Memphis police department wrote on their Facebook page. “If a pornographic image shows up on your Facebook page, contact Facebook immediately and delete the image from your account. Sharing said the image is considered distribution and you could be criminally charged for doing so. We understand that sharing information sometimes brings a criminal to justice, but sharing amongst Facebook friends is not the way to do it.”

“So you know, once an image is reported properly via Facebook notification, Facebook will immediately notify law enforcement,” the warning added.

Authorities in Memphis said that it is believed that the incident occurred in Alabama. “This incident did not occur in Memphis, TN. Please help spread the message of NOT sharing these graphic images.”

This is a representational image. Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Tony Garrett with Central Alabama CrimeStoppers told CBS-affiliated WHNT that people are sharing the video with the best intentions, but it is doing more harm than good. Other law enforcement officials told the station that circulating the video was victimizing the victim.

“As this investigation proceeds, law enforcement issues a reminder to the public that possession, dissemination or sharing of this video is a criminal act,” Garrett said. “In addition to investigating the circumstances of the assault, investigators are working to determine how and by whom the video was shared.”

Other departments issuing an advisory include Columbus Police, Georgia Police, and Chicago Police.

In a statement to News4Jax, a representative for the Jacksonville division of the FBI said the following:

The FBI Jacksonville Division works closely with our law enforcement partners to address the threats posed by cyber criminals, including sexual and child predators who use the Internet to exploit vulnerable victims. These criminals often search social networking sites looking for information or people to target for exploitation. 

There are several ways you can minimize the risks associated with using social networking sites and applications:

  • Never click on or open unsolicited emails or messages from unknown contacts.
  • Report inappropriate activity or content to the website immediately upon receipt. Include the senders screen name, but do NOT forward the content to others, including website administrators or law enforcement, as it could be considered distribution.
  • Immediately delete the file and all record of the communication. 
  • Notify law enforcement using the Cyber Tip Line operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in partnership with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Reports may be made 24-hours a day, 7 days a week online at www.cybertipline.org or call 1-800-843-5678.
  • Check privacy settings and account security. 

The FBI encourages parents to educate young people on the essentials of online security in an effort to help protect them from child predators and other dangers on the Internet. Please visit the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing website for additional information. 

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