A TikTok user has created a script that can flood a Texas website with fake tales of women seeking abortions.
TikTok tech heads have once again demonstrated hacktivism against conservative social policies.
A user posting under the username Sean Black has created a script that can flood a Texas website with fake reports of women seeking abortions.
A TikTok user has created a script that can flood a Texas website with fake reports of women seeking abortions in the state. (Adobe Stock)
The tactic comes after the U.S. Supreme Court voted not to act on a new law in the Lone Star State that bans abortion of fetuses over six weeks old. The law is the most restrictive in the country. Supporters of abortion rights note that many women don’t even know they are pregnant before six weeks gestation.
“These laws are unconstitutional, as we have understood Supreme Court rulings until now, and courts have quickly issued preliminary injunctions blocking enforcement,” Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, told The New York Times.
In an initial video, Black said the script he developed sent one request to a website run by a group called Texas Right to Life every 10 to 15 seconds. In a second one, he noted he was able to send around 245 requests to the site before it blocked his IP address.
“Then I thought: What if I make it easier for everyone?” Black says in the clip.
He created an iOS shortcut so anyone with an iPhone could replicate Black’s script, which picks a random Texas city, county and zip code and other required information to file a false report, hopefully tying up resources.
“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 Motherboard, VICE’s tech site. “There are people on TikTok using their platform to educate and do their part. I believe this is me doing mine.”
He was influenced by another TikTok user, who inspired his idea for automation, and he later hammered out the details.
As of Thursday, over 4,170 people had clicked on the code, and 4,870 had clicked on the shortcut itself, according to data from his Linktree page.
Last year, teens from TikTok and K-Pop fans requested a million tickets to a pre-election rally for former President Donald Trump, tanking it — with barely over 6,000 people attending the event at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June 2020. The venue had a capacity of over 19,000, and the Trump campaign had raved about historic ticket sales.
“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” Elijah Daniel, 26, who participated in the social media campaign, told The New York Times last year. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”
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