FBI investigators are looking into whether Facebook violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by allowing child pornography images to be shared with others on its platform.
The FBI’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Task Force, or CFOTA, was formed after Facebook agreed to help the agency track down child pornography.
The task force has been investigating the use of a social network to distribute images that may be sexually explicit.
Investigators are also investigating whether Facebook knowingly violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Facebook says it has cooperated with authorities, and it said that the investigation is focused on “the development of evidence and evidence-based recommendations.”
It’s unclear if any charges will be filed against Facebook.
Facebook said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday that the CFOTA investigation was a “long-standing and collaborative effort” that began last year.
“We are committed to making the right decisions and making the most of our platform, which allows us to build an environment that protects children, families and communities, and allows people to share their stories and experiences.”
The CFOTA task force was created after Facebook acknowledged it had inadvertently allowed child pornography to be viewed on the platform.
It said that Facebook took action to address the issue, including working with law enforcement.
“Facebook is committed to ensuring that its policies and procedures are robust and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and standards,” the company said in the statement.
“The task force, led by Assistant Attorney General William Weinreb, is investigating whether or not Facebook violated COPPA and the CFAA.
Facebook is also committed to the rule of law, and we continue to cooperate with law enforcers and their investigations.”
Facebook is currently facing a number of high-profile legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed by two students from San Francisco, who claim the company did not take them seriously when they complained about being targeted for sex crimes on the site.
The students, who have not been named, filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook in March 2017, claiming they were “victimized” by the platform, and that Facebook was not held accountable for the actions of others.
The company was also criticized in 2016 for its use of fake accounts, including the account of former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who was later found to be a criminal in California.
The San Francisco suit also alleges that the company failed to protect the identity of victims.
Facebook has not responded to the lawsuit.