Authorities: Do not share child pornography on Facebook, even if your intentions are to catch the bad guy

A child pornography video circulating on Facebook has law enforcement agencies throughout the country urging people not to share it because you could be committing a crime.

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 4:49 PM

A child pornography video circulating on Facebook has law enforcement agencies throughout the country urging people not to share it because you could be committing a crime.

According to law enforcement, many people are sharing a video of a child performing a sex act on an adult with the intentions to find the people responsible for victimizing the child. In reality if you do this you are only hurting the victim and committing a felony, according to police.

"The actual images themselves are illegal," said Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office Investigator, Matt Horton. "Then once you share these images it could be considered as distribution of those images, or disseminating those images to another individual."

Horton has worked countless child pornography cases for the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office and OnePlace of the Shoals. He has not seen this video in question but says if people are sharing it you are committing felonies in the process.

"I can understand that people want to help that child and they feel like they are doing the right thing, but what needs to happen is when something like that is seen it needs to be reported to law enforcement immediately," said Horton.

Horton says if you share a child pornography video on Facebook or even send it to a friend in messenger you're breaking the law. You could face possession of child pornography, dissemination of child porn and distribution.

"If it's a video then that's multiple charges where a picture would be one charge," said Horton. "The statue is written, every time the video is shown it's so many charges for so many seconds of video."

Horton told WAAY31 parents should be weary of what they post on Facebook too. For instance, a mother can post a picture of her baby in the bathtub without the intent of it being child pornography but predators out there do look for things like this.

"You turn out victimizing your child without ever knowing it. Don't put it on a public forum or anything like that," said Horton.

Officials are also urging people not to read any messages from people they don't know on Facebook and turn your privacy settings to private.

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