GoDaddy Punts Texas Anti-Abortion Website

A Texas whistleblowing website that resulted from an anti-abortion law President Biden said “unleashes unconstitutional chaos” against women has been punted by GoDaddy for violating their terms of service.

The website, that the New York Times reports invites citizens to dob on the violators of the American state’s new law that criminalises most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, has been inundated by “activists on TikTok, programmers, and Twitter and Reddit users who said they wanted to ensnarl the site’s administrators in fabricated data.”

According to another Times report, “the law empowers private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or ‘aids and abets’ such a procedure, a broad definition that could include a driver for a ride-hailing company who takes a woman to a health clinic.”

Twitter users were calling “for a boycott of GoDaddy, the company that hosts the Texas Right to Life tip site. They claimed the site violated GoDaddy’s rules that prohibit customers from collecting or harvesting nonpublic information about anyone without their ‘prior written consent.’”

The Times reported GoDaddy Thursday had given Texas Right to Life 24 hours to find a new hosting provider before cutting off service.

“We have informed they have 24 hours to move to another provider for violating our terms of service,” Dan C. Race, a GoDaddy spokesman, said in an email to the Times.

“By Friday afternoon, some people were having trouble submitting tips to the website using the form. Others reported seeing a GoDaddy firewall page instead of the site.”

Hactivists have written scripts and apps to allow people to automatically spam the Texas website with “bogus tips”. One app claimed it was responsible for 1,000 reports by Thursday evening, while another had written a script resulting in more than 7,200 people clicking on his script and more than 8,450 people had clicked on the shortcut as of Thursday afternoon, reported The Times.

The Times report ended saying “By Friday afternoon, some people were having trouble submitting tips to the website using the form. Others reported seeing a GoDaddy firewall page instead of the site.”

As for technology companies, The Times reports one of the few that was explicitly opposing the restrictive laws and supporting women’s rights was dating app Bumble, “founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd and based in Austin, said it was donating funds to organisations that supported women in Texas seeking abortions.”

“Bumble is woman-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable,” the company said in an Instagram post. “We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8.”

“Match Group, another dating company, which is based in Dallas, also set up a fund for employees affected by the law, and Shar Dubey, the chief executive, sent a memo to employees expressing her disappointment in the new law.”

“Lyft’s chief executive, Logan Green, said the company would pay the legal costs of any drivers who faced lawsuits under the law. … Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said on Twitter that his company would also cover its drivers’ legal expenses.” Yelp’s chief executive said the company opposed the law.

“Hewlett Packard Enterprise, based in Houston, declined to comment on the ban, but said the company ‘encourages our team members to engage in the political process where they live and work and make their voices heard through advocacy and at the voting booth.’”

“A spokesman for the company added that its medical plan allowed employees to seek abortions out of state, and would pay for lodging for such a trip.”

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