Reddit shut down a forum for self-described Texas abortion ‘bounty hunters’

Protesters hold up signs at a protest against Texas' new abortion law outside the state capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Protesters hold up signs at a protest against Texas’ new abortion law outside the state capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Sergio Flores/Getty Images
  • Reddit shut down a forum for “bounty hunters” seeking to capitalize on Texas’ new abortion law.
  • Private Texan citizens can sue people for $US10,000 ($AU13,535) for helping someone get an abortion after six weeks.
  • Reddit said the forum violated its rules against harassment.
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Reddit shut down a forum started by users who wanted to share tips on finding and suing people trying to get abortions in Texas, as first reported by Vice.

The r/TXBountyHunters subreddit was formed on September 2, the same day Texas law SB8 came into force banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs at six weeks, often before most people know they’re pregnant.

The law allows private citizens to sue anyone they believe helped somebody get an abortion after the six-week mark. This provision is wide-ranging, and Texas citizens could technically sue a cab driver who takes someone to an abortion clinic.

In an archived post from r/TXBountyHunters seen by Insider, one member said the law had opened up a “brand new arena of revenue” to private citizens.

“We are here to capitalize on that,” they said.

Vice reported the group had 68 members when it was shut down, and that its description said it was “dedicated to sharing tips on identifying, reporting, and collecting bounty on those breaking Texas law TX SB8.”

Reddit’s page when you try to load r/TXBountyHunters says the group was banned for violating its policy on “harassing content.”

Reddit did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.

Reddit isn’t the only tech company to kick would-be vigilantes off its platform. Web hosting company GoDaddy booted a website off its service that invited users to submit anonymous tips about people getting abortions after the six-week mark.

The website moved to domain host Epik, which is known for hosting far-right content, but the Washington Post reported Monday that the site had once again been disabled.