UPDATED 9/3, 6:50 p.m. ET: The Texas anti-abortion “whistleblower” site is in jeopardy.
According to the New York Times, web-hosting provider GoDaddy is preparing to cut off services to ProLifeWhistleBlower.com, a controversial website that accepts anonymous tips about suspected illegal abortions within the Lone Star State. A representative for GoDaddy told the Times that the website violates its terms of service, and its creators have just a day to find a new home.
“We have informed prolifewhistleblower.com they have 24 hours to move to another provider for violating our terms of service,” GoDaddy spokesman Dan C. Race wrote in an email.
Section 5.2 of GoDaddy’s terms of service agreement reads:
You will not collect or harvest (or permit anyone else to collect or harvest) any User Content (as defined below) or any non-public or personally identifiable information about another User or any other person or entity without their express prior written consent.
See the original story below.
A TikToker/activist has created a clever scheme to disrupt the anti-abortion movement.
Earlier this week, Texas lawmakers enacted its novel and highly controversial “heartbeat law,” which prohibits abortions after six weeks from conception. The measure has been widely criticized as unconstitutional and overly restrictive, as many women aren’t aware of their pregnancies until after the six-week timeframe. And although the law makes exceptions for instances in which the mother’s life is in danger, it still bans abortion procedures for cases of rape and incest.
The measure also incentivizes private citizens to enforce the ban by allowing them to sue anyone who performs or helps facilitate an abortion. Potential defendants include physicians and counselors, and even those who simply drove a woman to a clinic for the procedure.
In an effort to enforce the law, an anti-abortion group created ProLifeWhistleBlower.com—a website that enables the public to submit anonymous tips about potential violators of the abortion ban. In the weeks since the website’s launch, social media users have spammed the platform with fake reports that included everything from furry porn to Shrek memes.
One TikTok user by the name of Sean Black, aka black_madness21, has used his coding skills to help others sabotage the “whistleblower” website. As pointed out by Motherboard, the “hacktivist” first created a script that would constantly submit fake reports to the site.
Black claimed the script had sent about 300 entries before the IP address was blocked, so he created an iOS shortcut that would allow others to get in on the action.
“I started thinking, ‘What if I made this a bit easier for everybody ...’” Black said in a TikTok video. “Now you may be asking yourself, ‘What does the iOS shortcut do?’ Well, it picks a random city, county, and Texas zip code … puts it in the form and automatically submits it.”
He continued: “Because it uses realistic information, it makes it harder for them to parse through the data.”
The Motherboard team confirmed Black’s iOS shortcut does work once a user selects the “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts” on their device.
“To me the McCarthyism era tactics of turning neighbors against each other over a bill I feel is a violation of Roe V Wade is unacceptable,” Black told the outlet. “There are people on TikTok using their platform to educate and do their part. I believe this is me doing mine.”