BEWARE: Child pornography message spreading through Facebook's Messenger app

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

ROANOKE, Va. – Authorities across the nation are urging people not to click or share a video apparently depicting child pornography, even if you are attempting to seek justice. 

The messages have been spreading through Facebook’s Messenger feed, and has been reported nationwide.

Federal authorities and Facebook are warning users to never, under any circumstances, share video depicting the sexual exploitation of a child after an apparently pornographic video of a child was shared widely on the social media platform.

"The sharing of child exploitative images – regardless of intention – is harmful and illegal," Facebook's media team said in a statement.

We have turned off WSLS 10's ability to receive messages on Facebook due to the viral spread of the video and have instructed our news team to do the same with their own fan pages. 

We also notified the Roanoke Police Department immediately after receiving the video.

Facebook advises those who see images or videos of a child being sexually exploited to do the following:

  • Contact local law enforcement immediately and report the photos or videos to Facebook.
  • People who come across images or video that depict a child being sexually exploited should also notify the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678, or visiting https://report.cybertip.org.
  • DO NOT share, download or comment on the content: It can be criminal to share, or send messages with, photos and videos of children being sexually abused and exploited. You won't be asked to provide a copy of the content in any report to Facebook.
  • It is a federal offense to send or possess child pornography, as well as a state offense in Virginia. 

    Federal authorities have been alerted to the video and are investigating its origin.

    To see Facebook's policy on photos or videos depicting sexual or physical abuse, click here.