Facebook: Yes, we have a porn problem

On Monday t was Salman Rushdie. Now it's porn on Tuesday. I bet Mark Zuckerberg can't wait for Wednesday to arrive.

Facebook today confirmed a report by our sister site ZDNet that it had indeed suffered a "coordinated spam attack."

Users had complained of being subjected to links, videos, and images depicting pornography, acts of violence, self-mutilation, and bestiality. In its response to ZDNet, a Facebook spokesman offered up the following:

Earlier in the day, the Christian Post detailed complaints about violent and pornographic photos triggered by a linkspam virus. Once clicked, user feeds turn into vectors for images containing hardcore sex, extreme violence, gore and death.

"Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms. We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue."

Facebook said it believed that some users were lured into executing "malicious javascript" in their browser URL bar. The company says it has since put in place measures to shut down malicious Facebook pages and accounts.

This follows a dust-up with novelist Salman Rushdie, who had his account shut down by Facebook after the company determined he had breached its real name policy. Rushdie refers to himself by his middle name, Salman, but the first name on his passport is Ahmed. His account was subsequently reinstated but only after Rushdie used Twitter to publicly eviscerate Facebook and its management for their missteps.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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