Has Texas Right to Life's whistleblower website met its demise?
A new Texas law that criminalizes helping women get abortions after six weeks of pregnancy has recently gone into effect. This law doesn't make exceptions for rape or incest either. An anti-abortion group called Texas Right to Life that supports the law was forced to find a new hosting provider after GoDaddy gave its abortion "whistleblower" website a 24-hour ultimatum. Here are more details.
The new Texas law has drawn polarized opinions from society. And, the Texas Right to Life group is encouraging people to report those who violate the law by helping women get abortions after the stipulated period. Citizens can report violators on a new dedicated whistleblower website called prolifewhistleblower.com. The site reportedly promises to "ensure that these lawbreakers are held accountable for their actions."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, website hosting platform GoDaddy gave Texas Right to Life 24 hours on Friday to find another host for its whistleblower website. A GoDaddy spokesperson told The New York Times and The Verge, "We have informed prolifewhistleblower.com they have 24 hours to move to another provider for violating our terms of service."
The Verge reported that late on Friday, the whistleblower website was hosted on Epik, a platform that stepped in to host other controversial domains, including Gab, social media platform Parler, and hate forum 8chan. However, the website was reportedly unavailable online on Saturday. Before going for Epik, the controversial site reportedly tried using Digital Ocean for hosting but probably violated its rules, too.
On Saturday, the website hopped hosts again and switched to BitMitigate, an Epik-owned hosting service that advertises its "sovereign" hosting services. Later on, Saturday, accessing the website reportedly threw an error that read "accessed a banned URL." Epik also appears to have stopped hosting the whistleblower site for violation of terms of service, again. Epik is yet to confirm that it took such action.
The anti-abortion group's whistleblower website has been under attack for a few days now. People protesting against the law have flooded the whistleblower website with fake tips about violators. In fact, Motherboard reported that an activist on TikTok created a script to automatically pummel the website's tip box with false reports. At the time of publishing, prolifewhistleblower.com continued displaying a code 503 error.