Critics of Texas' new abortion law have been filing hundreds of fake reports to a whistleblowing website in the hopes of crashing it. A TikTok activist has created an iPhone shortcut to screw up the website where abortion opponents can report anyone who helps people in Texas get abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The news was first reported by Vice's Motherboard on Thursday.
Sean Black, an activist who goes by "black_madness21" on TikTok, created a technological way to oppose enforcement of the law.
Initially, he wrote some computer code to constantly input false data into the Texas Right to Life organization's Pro-Life Whistleblower website, created to take anonymous tips about potential lawbreakers. The script uploaded about 300 entries before the site blocked his IP address, reported USA Today.
Black came up with a repetitive script to overwhelm Texas Right to Life's abortion reporting system and make it harder for them to parse through their data, according to HuffPost.
Easy-to-Use iOS Shortcut Lets Non-Technical Users Bombard the Site
He then developed an iOS shortcut for the technically challenged, reported Motherboard, which successfully tested Black's instructions and the shortcut.
"But then I started thinking, 'What if I made this a bit easier for everybody,'" he said in the video. So he created an iOS shortcut users of Apple devices can download that automatically fills in the site's form. It picks a random Texas city, county and zip code and fills in and submits the form.
"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 Motherboard in an email. "There are people on TikTok using their platform to educate and do their part. I believe this is me doing mine."
Black told Motherboard that 4,170 people had clicked on his code and 4,870 had clicked on the shortcut as of Thursday morning.
Website Also Filled with Shrek Memes, Fake Reports and Porn
Beyond Black's strategy, other social media users were doing whatever they could to screw with the tip site â and posting some of their best stuff. Pro-choice users on TikTok and Reddit have flooded the website with Shrek memes, fake reports and porn in in hopes of crashing it, according to The Guardian.
Anti-Abortion Group Texas Right to Life Recently Established the Digital Tipline
The recently passed 'Texas Heartbeat Act' bans abortion as soon as a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. The law makes it illegal to help women in Texas access abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.
An anti-abortion group called Texas Right to Life recently launched a website for people to report those who have violated the law. It asks "pro-life whistleblowers" to anonymously submit tips about potential violations. The website is encouraging people to anonymously snitch on people who might've helped others get abortions in the stateâeffectively turning neighbors into anti-abortion vigilantes, according to Vice.
Social Media Reactions
Netizens appreciated the TikToker for his invention and said something good has come out of TikTok.
One internet user said, "TIKTOKers out here literally saving lives by spamming the abortion-bounty regime that is currently taking place in Texas. F*CK U PATRIARCHY" Another wrote, "This lovely gentleman created a very easy way to start raking in those bounties!"
One comment read, "Awesome response. This Court is as bad as they get. They will never overturn Roe. They will simply allow statutes that don't specifically outlaw abortion, but make it impossible to get."