Twitter was hit with a bombshell lawsuit earlier this month alleging that a young boy (“John Doe”) who was solicited and recruited for sex trafficking had to endure his own sexual abuse material being promoted on Twitter, even after attempts were made to remove the content.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his platform, in the wake of the suit, have come under scrutiny by anti-sex exploitation groups and advocates.
“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.”
“Twitter clearly needs to properly address the egregious issues of exploitation and abuse happening throughout its platform,” Gentala added. “We hope that John Doe receives some measure of justice and that this lawsuit will pave the way for other survivors to seek justice.”
Lisa Haba, partner at The Haba Law Firm, said in a statement, “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.”
Vice president of Victims Refuse Silence, Teresa J. Helm, who has sued the estate of late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, told The Daily Wire in a statement that she stands behind John Doe.
“I, Teresa J. Helm, a Survivor of trafficking and abuse at the hands of Maxwell/Epstein, and Vice President of Victims Refuse Silence, am in humble support of this brave young man, John Doe,” the statement said. “This nightmare scenario of exploitation and trafficking, under no circumstances, should ever be the incredulous reality for any human being.”
“Twitter has profited substantially from the exploitation and trafficking of a John Doe,” Helm continued. “Twitter continues to profit from child sexual abuse and exploitation and has made no effort to abolish and prevent the publication of such heinous acts.”
“I remain committed to stand alongside and raise my voice in support of John Doe and his family. Twitter has failed this young man and the public. Twitter must be held accountable,” she added. “We must all continue to support and collectively stand strong for justice for John Doe.”
Sex trafficking survivor and advocate Eliza Bleu challenged Dorsey as well.
“I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask you for a few months,” Bleu wrote to Dorsey via direct message on Twitter. “How do you sleep at night knowing a portion of your profits are coming from child abuse on Twitter? And you stay silent.”
“John Doe was a 13 years old. He was trafficked,” she stated. “His abuse was watched 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets on Twitter. Twitter told Doe that it didn’t violate their terms of service.”
“Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to walk side by side with this brave young man and his parents,” the advocate said. “John Doe has inspired me in ways that you can’t imagine. He deserves justice. I love you John Doe. Keep fighting bud. You are not alone.”
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