- Screen Capture / TikTok @black_madness21
- TikToker Sean Black explains how to flood Texas Right to Life's tip site with fake information.
After pro-choice advocates urged people to push back against Texas Right to Life's effort to turn reproductive health into a thoughtcrime by submitting fake tips, an online activist created computer code to quickly and easily input false data into the site.
In a TikTok video, Sean Black — who goes by the handle "black_madness21" — said his script uploaded some 300 entries before the site banned his IP address.
Black's creation is an iOS shortcut that users of Apple devices can download t0 automatically fill data into the site's form. The script grabs a random Texas city, county and zip code, making it harder for the site's operator to sniff out the fake submissions.
"To me the McCarthyism-era tactics of turning neighbors against each other over a bill I feel is a violation of Roe v. Wade is unacceptable," Black told the tech site Motherboard in an email. "There are people on TikTok using their platform to educate and do their part. I believe this is me doing mine."
A Texas Right to Life spokeswoman told USA Today her group anticipated trolls trying to crash its party and disputed online claims that activists had caused the site to fail.
"Yes, pro-abortion advocates have been trying to crash the site for over a week and have failed," Texas Right to Life's Kimberlyn Schwartz said in an email to the newspaper. "You might see some people online saying it crashed, but that's not true. They can't access it because their IPs are getting blocked."
According to Motherboard, Texas Right to Life tried to slow down the trolling by adding a captcha, which (theoretically) requires a live human being to type in a string of characters before accessing the form.
Undaunted, Black told the site he's now exploring a workaround.
"While I feel its best to not reveal how I intend on dealing with this hurdle, I will say I am working on a solution."
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