January 20, 2021

NCOSE Law Center Hits Twitter with Groundbreaking Sex Trafficking Lawsuit

Twitter, one of the most popular social media sites in the world with over 330 million users, has had a hand in the sexual exploitation of countless victims of abuse, coercion, and objectification on their platform. It is on behalf of one of these victims, John Doe, that the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center—along with The Haba Law Firm and The Matiasic Law Firm—has filed a federal lawsuit against Twitter for its complicity in sex trafficking by knowingly distributing and profiting from child sexual abuse material of Doe.

John Doe was 16 years old when he learned that sexually graphic videos of himself—which were made under the duress of fraud and coercion of an online predator when Doe was 13 and 14-years-old—had been posted to Twitter. John Doe’s mother, Jane Doe, stepped in and contacted the authorities, the school, and Twitter. Using Twitter’s reporting system, which according to their policies is supposedly designed to catch and stop illegal material like child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from being posted, they communicated and verified to Twitter that John Doe was a minor and the videos needed to be taken down immediately.

Instead of the videos being removed, Twitter chose to do nothing and even went so far as to report back to John Doe that the video in question did not violate any of their policies. This lack of care and proper attention resulted in the CSAM of John Doe accumulating over 167,000 views before direct involvement from a law enforcement officer finally convinced Twitter to remove the offending material.

.@NCOSElaw has filed a groundbreaking federal lawsuit against Twitter for its complicity in sex trafficking by knowingly distributing and profiting from child sexual abuse material. Click To Tweet

Every single one of those views was another blow to John Doe and could have been prevented by Twitter. John Doe is now suing Twitter for their involvement in and profit from his sexual exploitation which, according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPA), violated federal law on sex trafficking.

Twitter clearly has no motivation to properly address the egregious issues of exploitation and abuse happening throughout their platform, and this case is only the tip of the iceberg.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is dedicated to standing up for the survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation like John Doe. Our passionate legal team at the NCOSE Law Center is helping bring a measure of justice to these brave individuals, and we won’t stop until Twitter and other companies like it are held fully accountable under the law.

If you or someone you know has been sexually exploited via Twitter, please reach out to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center to see if you have a case.

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