I'm going to need something stronger than brain bleach.
August 9, 2012 11:35 AM Subscribe
I accidentally saw child pornography on Twitter. Could I get into legal trouble for this?
posted by Perodicticus potto to Law & Government (14 answers total)
When I logged on to Twitter this morning, I saw a tweet from a friend expressing outrage that Twitter had not yet suspended a particular account. His tweet didn't make clear exactly what the problem was, and he isn't usually censorship-happy, so I wondered what had upset him. Like an idiot, I clicked on the offending account, and became almost physically ill at what I saw: very graphic images of children being sexually abused. I didn't click on them, they only showed up in the "recent images" thumbnails, but that was bad enough.
I reported the account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S. and to the Internet Watch Foundation in the UK. (I didn't bother reporting to Twitter because plenty of other people said they had already done so, with no effect.) After at least 14 solid hours of complaints from all over the world, Twitter finally suspended the account.
Apart from the trauma of seeing the pictures (I'd hoped to go to my grave without ever having seen child porn), I am also concerned that I now have illegal images in my browser history. Could I actually get in trouble with the law for this, or would there need to be evidence that I looked at them willingly? Will the fact that I reported them exonerate me? I'm in England. Thanks.