From memes to bots, TikTok users are determined to crash Texas’ new anti-abortion vigilante site

From memes to bots, TikTok users are determined to crash Texas’ new anti-abortion vigilante site

TikTok’s army is at it again. As news of Texas’ horrendous abortion ban came to light, TikTokers nationwide rallied together to see what they could do—and they found the perfect thing. As an anti-abortion group set up a website to enable Texans to report abortions per the new law, TikTokers did what they do best: They trolled it.

According to VICE, within hours of the call to action, the website, which was created by anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, was flooded with spam and troll content. TikTokers not only trolled it with fake addresses, but with memes, including “Shrek porn.”

Under Texas’ new abortion ban, ordinary people can file suit against anyone who helps someone they know get an abortion, whether that be the clinic itself or those who transported a person to the clinic or doctor, Daily Kos reported.

Instead of leaving enforcement up to government officials like other states, Texas has prohibited officials from enforcing the law and has given the power to anyone, including people outside of the state, to sue those who violate it. Abortions are banned as early as six weeks into pregnancy, a time at which many women often do not know they are pregnant.

The Texas Right to Life reporting website thus allows visitors to fill out a form to send anonymous tips indicting whether you “think the law has been violated.” The site went live in July as “ProLifeWhistleBlower.com.” As news of the site spread on social media, users on Twitter and TikTok called for spamming it.

“An anti-choice org is seeking anonymous tips for people helping others seek abortion care in Texas,” Nancy Cárdenas Peña, a Texas director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, said on Twitter Aug. 20 .“Gosh, I wonder if they factored in people abusing the integrity of this system. Hmmm I hope [people] don’t abuse this! That would be terrible.”

As a result of users on TikTok and Twitter flooding the site, it crashed last week.

“We anticipated spamming from the very beginning. If you give people a form on the internet, the internet will do what the internet does. So we weren’t surprised by any of this,” Kim Schwartz, the Texas Right to Life director of media and communication, told VICE News. “We have it all under control.”

Calls to spam the website continue and have increased after Texas passed its new law. The only precaution the website has taken to protect it from spamming is that people from outside the U.S., as well as those using VPNs to hide their location, cannot submit a form. 

“I found this website for, like, anonymously snitching on people who break the Texas Heartbeat Act,” one TikTok user said according to VICE. “You can attach any file you want to it, so I just sent them a bunch of Shrek porn. And you can do it too.”

OMG! This is genius! #TexasAbortionBan https://t.co/a01VECx83L pic.twitter.com/xgpvESdc5b

— Jamie Carter (@JCTheResistance) September 1, 2021

But spamming the website manually is not all that TikTokers did. Some even created bots to overwhelm the site.

People are amazing. This guy made a bot to overwhelm that horrible tx site and when it banned his IP after 300ish entries, he made an iPhone work around that anyone can use https://t.co/4v6YQnOZ34 pic.twitter.com/aZpeyY2AT9

— Preeti Chhibber (@runwithskizzers) September 2, 2021

Not creative enough for memes or able to make a bot? No problem—here’s an example of a way you can fill out the form too if you’re interested.

Here is a good way to fill in the tip line. pic.twitter.com/tNmFnwBOZc

— Ron Waxman 🏳️‍🌈 (@RonWaxman) September 2, 2021

TikTokers spamming sites and trolling is far from novel news. Last year, Donald Trump attempted to ban the TikTok platform in the U.S. because it was being used to mock him. In one incident, users on the platform began reserving tickets to Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, event without the intention of attending, Daily Kos reported.

These movements prove that social media activism can go far, and a little trolling can go a long way.

Will you be submitting a “tip” to the site? I would be lying if I said I didn’t.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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