News & Politics

Child Sex-Trafficking Victim SUES Twitter in Federal Court, Says the Site Facilitated His Abuse

AP Feed

Twitter has a long history of turning a blind eye to child porn on its site. I have been a witness to attempts to mass-report accounts on Twitter for posting videos of what appear to be minor children engaged in sex acts on the platform. Twitter doesn’t do much to stop it, though it claims that child porn is against its policies. Perhaps they are too busy banning Republicans to do much about the illegal activity on Twitter—who knows?

But finally, a victim has come forward and has sued Twitter for facilitating his sexual abuse by refusing to remove “sexual exploitation material” from the platform. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California states:

This is a civil action for damages under the federal Trafficking Victims’ Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591 and 1595, Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse Material, 18 U.S.C. § 2258A, Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A, and related state law claims arising from Defendant’s conduct when it knowingly hosted sexual exploitation material, including child sex abuse material (referred to in some instances as child pornography), and allowed human trafficking and the dissemination of child sexual abuse material to continue on its platform, therefore profiting from the harmful and exploitive material and the traffic it draws.

The minor plaintiff, now 16, alleges that he found videos of his abuse on Twitter when he was 13 and under the control of sex-traffickers. When he and his parents attempted to have them removed, Twitter did nothing, according to the victim. Not only did they refuse to take down the illegal material, Twitter claimed that the videos of a minor engaged in sex acts were not against its policies.

“As John Doe’s situation makes clear, Twitter is not committed to removing child sex abuse material from its platform. Even worse, Twitter contributes to and profits from the sexual exploitation of countless individuals because of its harmful practices and platform design,” said Peter Gentala, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center. “Despite its public expressions to the contrary, Twitter is swarming with uploaded child pornography and Twitter management does little or nothing to prevent it.”

Because of Twitter’s negligence, the videos garnered 167,000 views before law enforcement was able to intervene and force the removal of the materials.

“All of these views could have been prevented by Twitter, but it inexplicably refused to remove Doe’s videos despite clear proof that he is a minor. No child or parent should have to endure this egregious violation of their rights by a technology company,” said Lisa Haba, partner at The Haba Law Firm, which is representing the victim in this case.

“Twitter clearly needs to properly address the egregious issues of exploitation and abuse happening throughout its platform. We hope that John Doe receives some measure of justice and that this lawsuit will pave the way for other survivors to seek justice,” Gentala said.

Twitter did not waste any time, however, in removing President Donald Trump from its platform forever so he can no longer say mean things to Democrats.

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