OnlyFans bribed Facebook to put porn stars on terror watchlist

Adult performers saw their Instagram accounts falsely tagged as containing terrorist content -- crippling their ability to promote their business and devastating their incomes, according to the suits.

Sellers of smutty pictures were then "shadowbanned" across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other sites, the suits allege. Targeted accounts also included businesses, celebrities, influencers and others who "have nothing to do with terrorism," according to the suits. [...]

The plaintiffs claim the scheme dates back to 2018, when they say one or more Meta employees -- potentially including an unnamed senior executive -- took bribes from OnlyFans.

They claim the bribes were routed from OnlyFans' parent company, Fenix International, through a secret Hong Kong subsidiary into offshore Philippines bank accounts set up by the crooked Meta employees, potentially including at least one unnamed senior executive.

The suits -- which also name OnlyFans majority owner Leonid Radvinsky as a defendant -- claim the bribes paid off around October 2018, when people sold content through OnlyFans' rivals were allegedly hit with a "massive spike in content classification/filtering activity" that limited their reach. Meanwhile, users of OnlyFans enjoyed a "mysterious immunity" to the crackdown, the plaintiffs claim. [...]

The "Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism" was formed by Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, and Google's YouTube in 2017 in a joint effort to stop the spread of mass shooting videos and other terrorist material online. When a member of the group flags a photo, video or post as terrorist-related, a digital fingerprint called a "hash" is shared across all its members.

In effect, that means a bikini pic wrongly flagged as jihadist propaganda on Instagram can also be quickly censored on Twitter or YouTube, all without the poster or public knowing that it was placed on the list -- much less how or why.

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5 Responses:

  1. jal says:
    3

    Because clearly, advertising oligopies are exactly who you want running speech-suppression lists.

    • jwz says:
      7

      Hey, it worked out great for the airlines! "Too dangerous to be allowed inside an airport, but not dangerous enough to indict. Or even to prevent from buying assault weapons."

  2. Jim says:
    3

    This was not on my web3 bingo card.

  3. Carlos says:
    6

    Yes, this is almost certainly in one of your previouslies, but it still needs to be said explicitly:

    If you work for Facebook, quit.
    It is morally indefensible for you to use your skills to make that company more powerful.  By working there, you are making the world an objectively worse place.  I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time.
    You can do it.  I believe in you.

    C.

  4. David K says:

    So, basically, the Bad Things that people were saying COULD happen with Apple's proposed initiative to start secretly flagging pics HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. Will this incident be remembered the next time they go to do it? Or have they, like Intel and the CPUID, already done it, and are just keeping quiet about it? Every time I think I'm too cynical, it seems like I haven't been cynical enough, so...

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