After a recent law restricting abortions went into effect in Texas, United States, the state’s largest anti-abortion group urged people to inform on the law’s violators through a website. But the move backfired, with the website crashing as people spammed it with fake tips.
The recent law prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy in the state. Moreover, anyone facilitating the procedure or performing it can be sued by members of the public.
The anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life set up a website, prolifewhistleblower.com, to encourage people to offer tips about possible rule violations and enforce the new law. Some TikTokers, headed by Victoria Hammett and Olivia Julianna, decided to rig the whistleblowing process. They spammed the website with so many fake tips that it ultimately crashed.
The false information includes naming Texas Gov Greg Abbott, a leading proponent of the new bill, as a violator. Some people even fed in stories about characters from the fictional Marvel universe seeking abortions.
A TikTok developer known by the alias Sean Black said he had developed a script that led to fake reports being sent automatically to the website. Black explained that once the bot created by him was downloaded, “it will automatically open the website, fill out the form with fake data that makes it look like you're in Texas, submit it and then re-submit it, again and again.”
The recent anti-abortion bill passed by Republicans in Texas and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block the passage of the law has garnered much criticism, with US President Joe Biden also lashing out. Calling it “an unprecedented assault on a woman's constitutional rights", Biden argued that the rule would unleash “constitutional chaos”.
The Democratic president added that his government would look into steps the Federal government could take to ensure safe and legal access to abortions for women in Texas.