The FBI and local law enforcement agencies across the country are warning social media users not to share a disturbing video depicting child pornography making the rounds on Facebook.
Law enforcement officials say the video shows a young child being sexually abused by an adult male, and Facebook users have tried to get others to share the video to help catch the people behind the abuse.
But many law enforcement agencies are warning social media users that those who share the video might be committing a crime.
“PLEASE DO NOT SHARE those images or video,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday in a Facebook post. “Images and video depicting the sexual abuse of a child are pornography. Sharing them, even if your intent is to help, is a crime and continues to victimize the child.”
Investigators say that sharing the video or screenshots of it on social media, including with media outlets and police departments, could result in a felony charge of disseminating child pornography.
“If you saved it, if you posted it to your page, if you sent it to someone else… you’re disseminating child porn, and that’s a felony,” Tim Gann, an attorney in Alabama, told WHNT. “If you are in possession of (the video), no matter your good intentions, that is also a felony.”
FBI and federal prosecutors are currently investigating the video making the rounds on the Internet, and some reports say that a suspect has been arrested. However, law enforcement agencies are not confirming any arrests because of how the video is being disseminated.
Officials say that if you do come in contact with the video, do not open it or share it on social media. Instead, report the video to the social media platform for removal and call your local police station.