Big Tech Companies Mobilize To Disrupt Texas Abortion Law

Don't Mess with Texas by Texas State Library and Archives Commission is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Big tech companies are working to disrupt a recently passed Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks.

The law, called SB 8, has come under fire for a provision that lets private citizens report people who facilitate illegal abortions. In the days since it passed, tech companies have joined progressive groups to oppose the bill. GoDaddy, which hosts millions of websites, announced Friday that it would stop supporting a website that allows people to report violations of the law. Days later, Uber and Lyft announced they are establishing legal defense funds for any drivers who are charged with aiding and abetting an illegal abortion. The ride-sharing companies will each donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

The incident highlights the increasing power that internet platforms wield in politics. Amazon Web Services kicked off conservative social media app Parler after the app was accused of hosting January 6 rioters. Right-wing app Gab suffered a similar fate in 2018. And PayPal, which has actively censored activists in the past, has announced it will partner with the left-wing Anti-Defamation League to remove the accounts of groups it deems "extremist."

GoDaddy made its announcement in response to a left-wing pressure campaign. After the site was unveiled, activists on TikTok created an automated tool to spam the site with thousands of fake complaints and crude messages. TikTok users employed similar tactics to reduce attendance at a 2020 Trump rally in Tulsa, which they spammed with a wave of fake signups.
Don't Mess with Texas by Texas State Library and Archives Commission is licensed under CC BY 2.0