(Article republished from EndSexualExploitation.org)
The plaintiff, John Doe #2, joins the federal lawsuit originally filed by John Doe #1, alleging that both boys were trafficked by Twitter. The First Amended Complaint, John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 v. Twitter, Inc. was filed on April 7 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
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.
"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. Twitter cannot sweep under the rug the fact that it both allowed child sexual abuse material on its site and refused to remove it," said Peter Gentala, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center.
Plaintiffs John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 together were solicited and recruited for sex trafficking as minors. After they escaped from the manipulation, child sexual abuse material depicting them was disseminated on Twitter.
When Twitter was first alerted to this fact and the ages of the children, Twitter refused to remove the illegal material and instead continued to promote and profit from the sexual abuse of the children. Twitter even reported back to John Doe #1 that the video in question did not in fact violate any of their policies. This lack of care and proper attention resulted in the child sexual abuse material of John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 accumulating over 167,000 views before direct involvement from a law enforcement officer, who was finally able to have Twitter remove the child pornography material.
The plaintiffs are suing Twitter for its involvement in and profiting from their sexual exploitation, which violates the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and various other protections afforded by law.
"These two young men have suffered severe anguish and trauma at the hands of Twitter. 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," said Lisa Haba, partner at The Haba Law Firm.