Screenshots taken by Motherboard.
“Scroll for the lyrics!” reads the first slide in the TikTok, a slideshow set to EDM music. The second slide doesn’t show lyrics, though: It flashes the face of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, along with his supposed credit card information. The next slide is a portrait of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, with another credit card number, expiration date, and security code listed. The comments are filled with the message: “It worked!”
This is one of many videos posted to the app protesting the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that claim to dox the conservative justices who voted for the ruling. Some of the videos share supposed credit card information (Motherboard was unable to verify whether the credit card numbers were accurate, and they do not show up in any specific hacked credit card databases we are aware of).
Other videos show the home addresses of the five Republican-appointed justices who voted to overturn the decision. Those addresses do show up in public records databases tied to the justices; protesters picketed outside of the homes of several conservative justices after a draft opinion overturning Roe leaked earlier this year.Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed in 2018 despite intense unpopularity and multiple sexual assault allegations, was threatened by a man outside his home earlier this month. The man traveled from California to Chevy Chase, a town in Maryland’s Montgomery district, allegedly with the intent to kill the justice, and was outside his house armed.
Some of these videos had thousands of likes, comments and views. Many of them have since been taken down by TikTok, but the same information is recirculating through smaller and smaller accounts in the same format: a slideshow of the justices’ portraits, with text over their faces. In some cases, such as the credit card information, the text is minimally censored—a transparent red box is put over it, or a thin white line through it, potentially so that the app’s algorithm might not recognize the information. Even though the TikToks doxing Supreme Court justices are regularly getting deleted, discussion about them abounds on the platform. Users frequently post their shock about finding the information while scrolling through their For You Page, often with captions like “THE WAY YOU GUYS JUST DOXED THE SUPREME COURT?!" The overturn of Roe took away the federal right to abortion, leaving the decision about making abortion legal up to state government. Only hours after, some states began to outlaw the procedure, a move that will have disproportionately devastating impacts on people of color, people in rural areas, and poor people. TikTok users are pissed, so they doxed the Supreme Court justices who made it happen. But they’ve also turned to other mechanisms of fighting back. They’ve posted explainer videos of how to debate anti-abortion views and have also mobilized to "poison" the data being fed to period tracking apps by posting fake information. Motherboard has previously reported on how period tracking apps handle data privacy, and how law enforcement agencies could use that data to prosecute people around abortions, either for seeking them or providing them. Users on TikTok have suggested that people use the apps “in whatever chaotic fashion people who don’t understand periods might use them,” such as tracking D&D sessions. A spokesperson for TikTok told Motherboard that its "policies do not prohibit the topic of abortion, and we expect creators to adhere to our Community Guidelines which apply equally to everyone and everything on TikTok. We strictly prohibit and will remove content that shares personally identifiable information."Update 6/29 4:20 p.m.: This article has been updated with comment from TikTok.