Facebook newsfeeds hit by pornography

Violent and pornographic images are being maliciously spread across the network
Kerry Butters

November 15, 2011

Facebook has been hit with a slew of pornographic and violent images over the last 24 hours, which are appearing in users’ newsfeeds.

The images, which range from photoshopped images of celebs performing sex acts to “pictures of extreme violence and even a photograph of a dead dog” are outraging users, with many threatening to deactivate their accounts.

It’s not quite clear yet how the images have propagated around the site, although it seems that many affected users have had their accounts compromised without their knowledge.

According to security experts Sophos, the images could be spreading through a “clickjacking scheme”, where users unwittingly click on code hidden on a tempting video link, or another vulnerability within the social media site itself.

Other ways it could have spread throughout the site are thought to include users being tagged without their knowledge, poor privacy settings being employed or unknown malicious codes being installed on user computers.

Parents will be especially worried about their kids accessing the site and seeing the hardcore images.

Facebook say that they are investigating the problem but the social media giant needs to act quickly on this as many outraged users threaten to leave in droves.

It seems the images have spread in a variety of ways, some users are reporting that they are showing up in their newsfeed, whilst others claim to have received chat messages containing links.

There is some speculation that hacktivist group Anonymous are responsible for the problem as they threatened to take down the site on November 5th. This never transpired however and many are wondering if this is a belated attack by the group.

However, it doesn’t seem to be in keeping with their usual style of stealing information to publish and would surely harm their cause rather than further it.

Whilst some in-the-know Facebook users may support the group, they may be less inclined to do so if the group were to admit spreading such material across a platform that is used by many minors.

Whilst Twitter is alive with speculation and condemnation about the problem, Facebook seems to have had little success in dealing with it so far.

As Sophos’ Graham Cluely points out, “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.”


Comments in chronological order (1 comment)

  1. Dean says:

    Not surprised that Facebook would be exploited. Any great event, occurrence creates an opportunity for the lower life forms to spread their filth. I think most of it is driven for money. There seemingly isn’t enough of a penalty to keep this kind of behavior at a minimum.

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