National File

A second plaintiff has joined a federal lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that the social media giant knowingly refused to remove images of his sexual abuse as a child.

John Doe #2 has joined the lawsuit, which as National File reported, was filed in January by John Doe #1, who when he was between 13 and 14, had sexual images and videos of him widely distributed on Twitter. John Doe #2 was also included in the images.

“Both plaintiffs were harmed by Twitter’s distribution of material depicting their sexual abuse and trafficking, and by Twitter’s knowing refusal to remove the images of their sexual abuse (child pornography) when notified by John Doe #1 and his parents,” the plaintiffs’ legal team wrote. Sex traffickers posing as a 16-year-old female classmate blackmailed him to share nude content, as National File reported:

After initially exchanging nude content, the victim was then forced to share more, otherwise the material would be shared with his “parents, coach, pastor,” and others, the traffickers threatened. Doe first complied under duress, the lawsuit notes, but then managed to block the traffickers. However, at some point in 2019, the child porn was then shared to Twitter from two accounts that were known to share this material.

The tweets were reported to Twitter at least three times, the suit alleges. Doe contacted Twitter and filed a report against the tweet when he became aware of it in January 2020, but Twitter claimed that they had “reviewed the content, and didn’t find a violation” of their policies, despite the illegal content reaching over 167,000 views on their site…

It was only after an agent from the Department of Homeland Security contacted Twitter about the content did the Big Tech giant finally take down the accounts and child porn on January 30th, the suit notes. “This is directly in contrast to what their automated reply message and User Agreement state they will do to protect children,” the suit states.

READ MORE: Twitter Allows Pedophiles to Discuss Child Sex on Their Site

“Twitter has profited from the knowing distribution of child sexual abuse material depicting these two young men when they were children, and it must be held accountable,” said Peter Gentala, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center, who is suing Twitter on behalf of the boys, now aged around 17, along with the Haba Law Firm. “Twitter cannot sweep under the rug the fact that it both allowed child sexual abuse material on its site and refused to remove it,” Gentala added.

“These two young men have suffered severe anguish and trauma at the hands of Twitter,” said Lisa Haba, a partner at the Haba Law Firm. “Twitter had everything it needed to do the right thing and prioritize the safety and privacy of these children before its own profits. Our lawsuit seeks to hold Twitter accountable for knowingly profiting from the sexual abuse and trafficking of children and the re-victimization of these two boys.”

In March, Twitter moved to dismiss the case. In the motion, lawyers for Twitter claimed that the Big Tech giant was simply slow in removing the images, and were not deliberately ignoring them. Due to the “sheer volume” of tweets posted, it is “simply not possible for Twitter… to remove all offending content immediately or accurately in all cases,” they argue. “The fact that nine days transpired before the offending content was taken down does not make Twitter liable under any applicable law,” it adds.

READ MORE: REPORT: Child Porn Is Being Sold On Twitter for as Little as $2

The motion to dismiss also claims that regardless of any other facts, they were immune from prosecution under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 generally exempts Big Tech companies from being prosecuted for the actions of their users. “Given that Twitter’s alleged liability here rests on its failure to remove content from its platform, dismissal of the Complaint with prejudice is warranted on this ground alone,” Twitter argued. However, given that the content passed an initial review, this point may be hard to argue for Twitter.

The motion to dismiss the case will be held on June 4th, and the amended complaint can be read in full below:

Doe-v-Twitter_1stAmndComplaint_Filed_040721
Read full article at The National File

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