In case you wanted to prank Texas’ new snitch site for people who don’t care for other people’s private health care decisions, you may want to get in line. As Daily Kos reported on Sept. 2, people across the country are flooding prolifewhistleblower.com with a cornucopia of fake tips and assorted web flotsam. That’s likely why the site’s “rat out your neighbor” function appears to be glitching (as of this writing, anyway).
It’s a shame, because I’d planned to write up a thorough, double-spaced report on every last sperm I’ve squandered over the years—complete with a grainy “last known photo” for each luckless gamete. But, no. TikTok users and other righteous rapscallions have beat me to it.
As The New York Times reported:
The fictional characters from Marvel’s Avengers were also apparently seeking abortions, the reports said. Other tips did not point to individuals but instead contained copies of the entire script to the 2007 animated film “Bee Movie.”
The reports, which were obviously bogus, were the work of activists on TikTok, programmers, and Twitter and Reddit users who said they wanted to ensnarl the site’s administrators in fabricated data.
Their digital dissent was part of a wave of reaction against the Texas law, which bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and makes the state the most restrictive in the nation in terms of access to abortion services.
Well, now the site is facing another headache. Its web-hosting service, GoDaddy, is giving it the hook tout de suite.
After users threatened to boycott the internet domain service GoDaddy for hosting the newly-established tip line that allows Texans to anonymously snitch on private citizens they suspect of performing an abortion after six weeks or anyone who “aids or abets” such abortions in the state, the company abruptly announced that it is booting the site from its servers over terms of service violations.
“We have informed prolifewhistleblower.com they have 24 hours to move to another provider for violating our terms of service,” Dan C. Race, a GoDaddy spokesman, told Gizmodo in an email. The company first informed the New York Times of the 24-hour window to find another hosting provider “late Thursday,” meaning it likely has just hours to do so or, presumably, it will go offline.
Prolifewhistleblower.com apparently ran afoul of the section in GoDaddy’s TOS that says a customer can’t use the platform if it “violates the privacy or publicity rights of another User or any other person or entity, or breaches any duty of confidentiality that you owe to another User or any other person or entity.”
Those terms would appear to prohibit snitching on Goody Osburn for cavorting in the forest with the Devil at midnight, or for seeking a safe, legal, and medically prescribed abortion.
Of course, it shouldn’t be too difficult for this egregious yeti turd of a website to find a new web host, but one assumes our own pro-choice “vigilantes” could make the site all but unworkable if people continued to flood it with gibberish.
As VICE News has reported, that’s apparently a pretty easy trick for some of the more tech-savvy of our allies to pull off.
An activist has made a script to flood a Texas website used to solicit information on people seeking abortions with fabricated data, according to a TikTok video from the developer and Motherboard's test of the tool. The developer, whose social media identifies him as Sean Black, also made an iOS shortcut making it easier for non-technical activists to participate as well.
Friday evening, the forced birthers behind the vigilante site took to Twitter to respond.
It seems safe to assume that hacktivists will take that invitation to “come back soon” to heart. Keep it up, pranksters. Texas thought it was being awfully clever with its reprehensible bounty system for punishing pro-choice scofflaws. Maybe they're not quite as clever as they thought.
Make them pay.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect Texas Right To Life’s response.
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