Facebook has been hit hard by an all-new virus, which has people reporting pornographic and violent images being streamed continuously on their newsfeeds.

While Facebook is still investigating the source of the virus many have started to speculate that it has links with the Fawkes Virus affiliated with the international Internet hactivists collective, Anonymous, Examiner.com reported. A video allegedly posted by the hactivists onto YouTube threatens to kill the social network.

Thousands of Facebook users have posted status updates and tweeted about images of self- mutilation, sexual intercourse, bestiality and extreme violence from across the world. I am going to be off Facebook until this latest vile & disgusting virus/worm issue (& its sick pictures) is eradicated, Twitter user Blcamp wrote in a post. Some users have even threatened to close their accounts completely until the issue is solved.

It isn't clear precisely how the explicit content spread, according to Sophos security expert, Graham Cluley. Whether users are falling for a click-jacking scheme, are being tagged in content without their knowledge, have poorly chosen privacy settings, have been tricked into installing malicious code, or have fallen victim to vulnerability inside Facebook itself, he said. What's clear, however, is that mischief-makers are upsetting many Facebook users and making the social networking site far from a family-friendly place.

The images are being spread in various ways. Some have reported being sent bogus chat messages, links to videos, or even finding them through mass group messages, which then leads to the images being continuously streamed on their newsfeeds. This kind of virus has been seen on Facebook before but the fact that it is spreading at such a fast pace suggests it was masterminded in advance by a larger collective.

Facebook announced that it is aware of the reports and will keep users updated throughout their investigation. In the meantime Facebook users suggest that people do not click on links until the issue is solved.

Facebook management may have a duty of care to encourage anyone who is underage and has viewed this to discuss it with their family or a school counselor, said Sally Leivesley, managing director of NewRisk, a crisis management consultancy, BBC news reported.

 A video posted on YouTube by Anonymous, explains that the Fawkes Virus attaches itself to a Facebook page and starts to send out malicious links, gaining full access of users accounts. According the video the virus at its full strength can hack into entire computer systems seizing control of hard drives and other computer data.

Anonymous would like to welcome you to the Fawkes virus which was fully written by Anonymous programmers, the video says. After the worm is under control Anonymous will use this to its advantage against corruption and as an alternative attack against its opponents.