Twitter was handed a bombshell lawsuit after allegedly refusing to remove child sexual abuse content

Last week, Twitter was handed a bombshell lawsuit after dismissing a young boy’s pleas to remove material of his sexual abuse.

  • The young boy has been dubbed John Doe to protect his anonymity. 
  • Videos of his abuse have received over 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets.
  • Twitter allegedly told John Doe that the child porn did not violate their terms of service.
  • Sex trafficking survivor and advocate Eliza Bleu messaged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “How do you sleep at night?”

In a contributing article on Evie magazine, Eliza Bleu shared John Doe’s story.

The sex trafficking survivor and advocate explained that John Doe was only 13 years old when he was solicited and recruited for sex trafficking. Bleu wrote that the young boy “was taken advantage of by sex traffickers on Snapchat pretending to be a 16-year-old female classmate. He was eventually blackmailed into sending them more pornographic images and videos (including with another minor) before he blocked them.” In 2019, videos of his abuse surfaced on Twitter where they were found by Doe’s classmates. Bullied, mocked, and ridiculed, Doe tried to remove the content.

After contacting Twitter and reporting the material, Doe reportedly received the following response: 

Thanks for reaching out. We’ve reviewed the content, and didn’t find a violation of our policies, so no action will be taken at this time. If you believe there’s a potential copyright infringement, please start a new report. If the content is hosted on a third-party website, you’ll need to contact that website’s support team to report it. Your safety is the most important thing, and if you believe you are in danger, we encourage you to contact your local authorities.

Shocked and confused, John Doe wrote back:

What do you mean you don’t see a problem? We both are minors right now and were minors at the time these videos were taken. We both were 13 years of age. We were baited, harassed, and threatened to take these videos that are now being posted without our permission. We did not authorize these videos AT ALL and they need to be taken down.

Now, Twitter has been handed a lawsuit.

In a statement to the Daily Wire, Eliza Bleu explained: “John Doe serves as a voice for countless victims and survivors in the United States and around the world. Most of the children being abused cannot report their abuse to Twitter. Big tech has shown consistently that they are unwilling to remove the child sexual abuse material and human trafficking from their platforms at scale. So, much as we have seen in times past, it takes brave survivors stepping forward to create change.” Bleu shared her disappointment and sadness as she said that she believed she could trust Twitter. Now, she has sent Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey the following message:

I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask you for a few months. 

How do you sleep at night knowing a portion of your profits are coming directly from child sexual abuse on Twitter? And you stay silent. 

In her Evie magazine article, Bleu explained that she believes Twitter needs a 24-hour hotline for survivors to call and report abuse.

She believes that the John Doe case will bring about big and important changes. In other words, Big Tech needs to come up with ways to remove sexual abuse material from their platforms. Bleu shared her ideas as she wrote, “The solution would be more aggressive and updated artificial intelligence combing the platforms at scale. An easy reporting process for victims. Verification for adult content. Beefing up staff. A 24-hour hotline for survivors to call and report abuse with a trained survivor advocate at Twitter. A hold on all posts with reported CSAM, human trafficking, sexual assault material. Resources available for survivors in need.”

Bleu is set to appear on the podcast journalist Tim Pool on January 28, 8 p.m. Eastern to give further information and discuss the John Doe case. 

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