Large numbers of Facebook users are reporting their timelines on the social network are being flooded with pornography and violent content as part of a large scale epidemic that has seen many profiles compromised.

Porn hacks are nothing new for Facebook but the apparent reach of this episode, and the particularly disturbing nature of many of the images could turn out to be one of the most serious that the social network has seen.

Facebook’s new emphasis on images in timelines and profiles is also heightening the effects providing even greater scope for images to offend by appearing in more visible places and in greater resolution and size.

There have been rumours that the Anonymous movement and its rumoured Fawkes virus could be responsible for what is happening, while equally the notorious users of 4chan have been mentioned, but it is too early to be sure exactly who is behind the issue.

Allfacebook speculates that a large scale hacking of accounts may have started as long as 48 hours ago, although news of the issues began being reported in the 12 hours or so.

At the time of writing, none of the staff here at The Next Web have seen anything out of the ordinary on Facebook, however hundreds of users on Twitter and Google+ have voiced their discontent at having their timelines transformed (or not yet transformed) into a landscape of porn and violence.

Screenshot 1 Porn and violent images infest Facebook. Have you been affected?Screenshot 2 Porn and violent images infest Facebook. Have you been affected?

Many of users are outraged at Facebook for failing to stop the images, with some apparently considering whether they will use the social network any longer. Actress and director, Courtney Zito who told to The Christian Post:

I have 5000 friends. My feed is littered with porn. I can’t even check my news feed with anyone around because of it. Just saw one with a guy who had his skull bashed in and his brains on the street. Another one was the devil… Besides the countless naked girls. I’m about ready to deactivate.

Facebook is yet to issue a statement, but we’ve reached out to the company for comment.

In the meantime, if your account did get hacked, Ryan Maynard has a four step guide to fixing the issue, although it doesn’t include an apology to anyone who was subjected to images from your hacked account. I hope you’re not friends with your girlfriend’s parents.