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Child abuse images found on Twitter
A string of Twitter accounts have been closed after they were revealed to contain disturbing images of child abuse.
The graphic pictures were apparently made public late on Sunday night after hacking groups claimed to have broken into the private accounts to expose their indecent content, the NSPCC said.
The charity said it received a "flurry" of reports overnight relating to at least half a dozen Twitter accounts which were later disabled. They will now be investigated in the US, where the micro-blogging site is based.
An NSPCC spokesman said: "Apparently these were pretty disturbing images of child abuse. We understand the authorities in the US are now looking at the accounts."
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said it had also received around 30 reports, relating to at least four accounts.
A spokesman added: "Twitter are obliged by law to send details of any accounts containing indecent images of children to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US. NCMEC will then forward information for investigation to law enforcement agencies in the relevant country where the user is believed to be based, or children believed to be at risk."
Authorities were first alerted to the apparent abuse by a number of Twitter users at around 11.30pm on Sunday.
This came after hackers apparently opened up a number of private accounts which were previously kept hidden from public view, the NSPCC said. It remains unclear whether any of the images were uploaded by a British user or a user based abroad. The nationalities of any children involved are also unknown.
Twitter has yet to comment on the images but has apparently issued a response to anyone contacting the company over the images of alleged abuse. This reads: "We do not tolerate child pornography on Twitter. When we are made aware of such images they will be removed from the site without further notice."