GoDaddy, the web hosting service, has notified Texas Right to Life that it has 24 hours to find a new hosting service because the organization's anti-abortion "whistleblower" website violates the company's terms of service regarding people's privacy
"Last night we informed prolifewhistleblower.com they have violated GoDaddy's terms of service and have 24 hours to move to a different provider," GoDaddy said in a statement.
What is Prolifewhistleblower.com?
The website, prolifewhistleblower.com, went live after Texas' anti-abortion law came into effect on Wednesday, Sept. 1, allowing people to leave anonymous tips reporting doctors, clinics or other individuals that may have helped women get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The website billed itself as a way to "help enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act," since the Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or assists an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy with anyone being eligible to receive $10,000 plus court fees in a successful lawsuit. The person filing the lawsuit does not have to be connected to the pregnant woman.
Tips about the law's potential offenders quickly flooded into the website, which features an online form so people can anonymously submit reports of those who are illegally obtaining or facilitating abortions. GoDaddy's announcement comes after its tipline was flooded with complaints that prolifewhistleblower.com was gathering people's personal information without their consent.
Website Inundated with Fake Tips from TikTok and Reddit Users
After the website went live, TikTok activists and users on Twitter and Reddit flooded the site with fake reports, Shrek memes and porn as part of a guerrilla effort to crash the website.
One TikTok user said she had submitted 742 fake reports of the governor, Greg Abbott, getting illegal abortions. Another TikTok user showed how he uploaded Shrek memes claiming they were images proving "my wife aborted our baby 4 weeks into her pregnancy without my consulting me". Meanwhile, other users encouraged people to upload image attachments containing various kinds of porn.
An activist who goes by the name Sean Black said he programmed a script that allows users to submit thousands of fake reports on the website automatically. On GitHub, a website for sharing and collaborating on software code, another programmer, Jonathan DÃaz, released a script and posted a link on Thursday to a new app, Pro-Life Buster, which allowed people to automatically spam the Texas website with "bogus tips."
This tactic, known as "hacktivism," was used last year when TikTok users and K-pop fans flooded a rally website for former President Donald Trump with fake registrations â and then never showed up, leaving thousands of seats conspicuously empty.