- The Washington Times - Monday, February 1, 2021

A Florida boy sued Twitter for disseminating pornographic images of him and refusing to take them off of the platform even after a lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter informing the company of the child pornography.

“When Twitter was first alerted to this fact and John Doe’s age, Twitter refused to remove the illegal material and instead continued to promote and profit from the sexual abuse of this child,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California last week.

The minor, who is remaining anonymous and going by the pseudonym “John Doe,” thought he was communicating with a high school girl when he was 13 or 14 years old, sending nude photographs of himself through the message app Snapchat.

In reality, he was messaging with sex traffickers who then used the images to blackmail the boy, manipulating him to send more pictures and videos of him engaging in sex acts with another minor.

The boy eventually blocked his communications with the traffickers, but a compilation video of his images and sex acts appeared on Twitter from two accounts.

It was viewed more than 167,000 times, with 2,223 retweets, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit details Twitter’s policies against violence and hate speech, but it claims the company chose “profits over people, money over the safety of children, and wealth at the expense of human freedom and human dignity.”

Twitter says it has clear rules to govern non-consensual nudity on the platform and takes action to identify accounts that violate the company rules.

A spokesperson for Twitter said the company has “zero-tolerance for any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation.”

“We aggressively fight online child sexual abuse and have heavily invested in technology and tools to enforce our policy,” the spokesperson said. “Our dedicated teams work to stay ahead of bad-faith actors and to ensure we’re doing everything we can to remove content, facilitate investigations, and protect minors from harm — both on and offline.”

The social media platform also has come under scrutiny recently for censoring conservatives and banning former President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are evaluating whether liability protection should be taken away from the networking site.

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