Facebook adds its support to the fight against online piracy as it begins to block messages that contain links to a file sharing site or torrents.
The social networking site had blocked sharing torrent links on walls and news feeds since last spring, according to technology magazine Wired.com.
The site now has widened the block to include messages. An attempt to send any such links results in a message that states This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy.
We have systems in place to prevent abuse on Facebook and prevent spam which we'll continue to deploy with the new Messages, a Facebook spokeswoman told wired.com in a written statement.
Facebook or any such service provider will not be legally responsible for content that is shared on the website.
However, the move could make some members a little wary, given the privacy tussles Facebook had earlier this year.
Facebook declined to answer questions from wired.com whether it searched private messages for references to illegal drugs, underage drinking or shoplifting.
The mere news of policing of the messaging system could have negative implications for the company's plan to launch its own email service. The new email, which will have the address of facebook.com promises to integrate email, instant messaging and text messages so that the user has access all of it in one place.
Facebook has over 500 million users in over 207 countries. According to official Facebook Statistics, an average user has 130 friends. Research states that a person tends to read more links posted on the homepage by their friends rather than a particular news article.
Facebook, in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities states that a member should not not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law.
However, monitoring emails and messages without warning, it could be an infringement on privacy laws.
Currently, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says Facebook's blocking of messages is legally questionable under federal wiretapping laws. Facebook's argument states that this is done to protect intellectual property rights.
While Facebook's move to stop such messages is good to prevent piracy, concerns regarding privacy continue to linger.