Numerous Twitter accounts have been disabled after they were revealed as containing indecent images of children.
Twitter users reported the accounts to Greater Manchester Police and North Yorkshire Police, and CEOP — the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre — said it received around 25 to 30 reports about the offensive pictures on Sunday night.
Users also contacted the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and called their attention to specific accounts, said the Huffington Post.
A CEOP spokesman said Twitter had disabled the accounts and would be reporting the users to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) — CEOP’s counterpart in the US.
“NCMEC will forward the account details to law enforcement in the countries where the individual concerned is,” said the spokesman, the BBC reports.
A subsequent statement from Twitter read:
“We do not tolerate child pornography on Twitter. When we are made aware of such images they will be removed from the site without further notice.”
A spokesman for the NSPCC revealed the accounts were made public early on Monday morning, adding:
“To be honest, it’s not a massive surprise. In our experience sex offenders will use whichever mean they can to connect with each other. They are usually quite devious.”
Urging people to be vigilant, the spokesman said, “If you see something, or are aware of something, you should report it.”
The NSPCC said some hacking groups had claimed responsibility for the exposure but this has not yet been verified. It is also not yet known whether the images are being uploaded from the UK, said Sky News.