California (New York Times) – After a law restricting abortion in Texas went into effect on Wednesday (September 1), the state’s largest anti-abortion organization launched a website inviting citizens to report offenders.
The website prolifewhistleblower.com was established by the Texas Life Rights Organization to help enforce the new law.
This is because the law does not place law enforcement power in the hands of state officials, but ordinary citizens who have the right to prosecute anyone who violates the law to perform or assist in abortion.
Tips about potential offenders of the law quickly flooded the site, which has an online form where people can anonymously report people who have illegally obtained or assisted in abortions.
But some tips are a bit unexpected.
According to some hints, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is the main supporter of the abortion law, and he violated it.
According to the report, the fictional character in Marvel’s Avengers is apparently also seeking abortion.
The other tips do not point to individuals, but contain a copy of the entire script of the 2007 animated film “Bee Movie”.
These apparently false reports are the work of activists, programmers, and Twitter and Reddit users on TikTok who say they want to harass website administrators with fabricated data.
Their digital objections are part of a wave of reactions to Texas law, which prohibits most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and makes the state the most restrictive abortion service in the nation.
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that this situation “created unconstitutional chaos” for women.
On TikTok, a developer under the pseudonym Sean Black stated that he has developed a script that can automatically generate false reports to the prolifewhistleblower.com website.
After the site tried to stop him, the developer released a shortcut that allowed anyone with an iPhone or iPad to automatically create false reports using randomly generated Texas zip codes.
The developer said on TikTok: “What if someone is very technical and handsome and sets up a bot that automatically sends requests to their website?” “Oh wait. It’s me. I did it.”
The developer who refused to provide his real name due to fear of retaliation said in an interview that according to Linktree data, as of Thursday afternoon, more than 7,200 people have clicked on his script, and more than 8,450 people have clicked on shortcuts, a way to help people A service that manages the content of its website. The shortcut was reported by Vice earlier.
On GitHub, a software code sharing and collaboration website, another programmer Jonathan Díaz (Jonathan Díaz) published a script, and on Thursday published a link to a new application Pro-Life Buster, the application The program allows people to automatically send “false notifications” to websites in Texas.”
The developer wrote that the script is a way to fight the law, because “knowing that people have abortions is nothing to do with anyone.” By Thursday night, the app showed that 1,000 new reports had been shared.
Mr. Diaz said that the application exists to flood the website with data that appears to be real but forged. “Our goal is to waste the time and resources of these people and make them wake up and realize that this effort is not worth their time,” he said on Friday.
These so-called “hacktivism” techniques have become more and more common.
Last year, TikTok teenagers and Kpop fans flooded the rally website of former President Donald Trump with false registrations — and then never appeared again, leaving thousands of seats empty.
Anonymous is a loose hacker organization that protests the policies of the Vatican, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other agencies by flooding their websites with spam in an attempt to force them to go offline.
King Schwartz, a spokesperson for the Texas Right to Life Organization, denied that the organization’s website was full of false reports.
“We know this will happen, and we are ready,” she said. “Activists have been trying to send spam and shut down the site for a week, but failed.”
Even so, according to screenshots posted on Reddit and other sites, the organization’s website appears to crash regularly on Thursdays and drop due to reported load.
In order to prevent a large number of automated reports from being sent to its website, the administrators of Texas Life Rights added a new version of “Verification Code”, which attempts to filter real human responses from automated computer reports.
But some hacktivists persisted. One person posted a screenshot of a false report on Reddit, which pointed out that some of Marvel’s Avengers were people seeking abortion.
On Twitter, people posted screenshots of other false tips. One user sarcastically reported that he wanted to retroactively abort his 30-year-old son who apparently would not leave the house.
Others on Twitter have called for a boycott of GoDaddy, the hosting company for the right to life reminder website in Texas.
They stated that the site violated GoDaddy’s regulations, which prohibit customers from collecting or obtaining non-public information from anyone without “prior written consent.” GoDaddy said late on Thursday that it had given Texas 24 hours of life to find a new hosting provider before cutting off services.
“We have notified prolifewhistleblower.com that they have within 24 hours to transfer to another provider for violating our terms of service,” GoDaddy spokesperson Dan C. Race said in an email.
By Friday afternoon, some people cannot use forms to submit tips to the website. Others reported seeing the GoDaddy firewall page instead of the profilewhistleblower.com site.