Twitter Refused To Remove Child Porn From Platform, Lawsuit Alleges

A lawsuit filed on Wednesday accused Twitter of refusing to remove child pornography from its platform, the New York Post reported.

According to the suit, Twitter hosted a video of a teenage trafficking victim who at the time resided in the Northern District of California. The video, which showed a 13-year-old engaged in sex acts, was reportedly deemed by Twitter to not be in violation of the company's policies.

The lawsuit alleges that the teen — identified as John Doe — was tricked into sending sex traffickers nude photos via Snapchat. The images were then used to blackmail them into sending more sexually explicit photos.

"Doe, acting under duress, initially complied and sent videos of himself performing sex acts and was also told to include another child in his videos, which he did," the New York Post wrote, as claimed by the lawsuit.

When the explicit material ended up on Twitter, the platform reportedly failed to do anything about it until a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent got involved with the case, Breitbart reported. Before the agent intervened, the company refused to remove the content, which the lawsuit claims was able to rack up over 167,000 views and 2,223 retweets.

"Thanks for reaching out. We've reviewed the content, and didn't find a violation of our policies, so no action will be taken at this time," the company's response read, according to the proceedings.

According to the lawsuit, the incident is not isolated. It accuses Twitter of knowingly allowing pedophiles to use the platform to exchange child pornography and profiting off of such material.

"The lawsuit also alleges that Twitter made money from the video of the victim's abuse," Breitbart claimed.

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England.
Getty Images | Bethany Clarke

According to NBC News, child pornography and online abuse have surged amid the coronavirus pandemic. The publication cited law enforcement and child safety experts who have allegedly been tracking the use of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to trade child pornography. Notably, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has received more than double the number of cyber tips in the United States — 983,734 reports in March 2019 to 2,027,520 reports in March 2020.

As The Inquisitr reported, some users — including former Glee actor Mark Salling — use software to mask their IP addresses and escape detection from authorities. Salling notably pleaded guilty in a high-profile child porn case after being found in possession of more than 50,000 images and videos of child pornography. He was also in possession of a how-to guide that instructed men how to sexually assault young girls.