By Róisín Kilroy
Right wing groups and men’s rights activists have waged an attack on sex workers and cam girls this weekend via twitter.
Over the weekened, the term #ThotAudit became one of the trending searches on Twitter. The hashtagged phrase, which originated in forum based website 4Chan, sees users approach sex workers as customers, gaining their usernames for financial transactions and reporting them to the authorities for tax fraud.
The movement has been supported by Roosh V, a writer, blogger and “pick up artist”, whose work around “neomasculinity”, feminism and approaches towards women has caused scandal across the world.
Writing on his Twitter account, Roosh said: “Men are aggressively organizing to report all thots. I don’t blame them: these girls are getting a free ride via beta bux and a broken sexual marketplace that is rigged in the favor of females”.
The movement appears to have started with a Faceboook user named “David Wu”, whose bio states: “Please report “sex-workers” to the IRS or the local law-enforcement, thank you!”
For the predominantly US based campaign, there has been another incentive in the reporting of sex workers, the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) “Whistleblower-informant award”.
On their website, the IRS describes the award as: “The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.
Kandi Cane, a cam girl who goes under the username of “@kandi_curves” stated that: “You must not follow many #camgirls if you think we don’t pay taxes. March is nothing but tax filing posts and pics of boxes full of receipts. Most of us follow the rule of putting 30% of each check away for taxes.”
One twitter user named, “@pictureplane”, commented under Roosh’s post about the attack saying: “These idiots aren’t reporting women for breaking the law. They are reporting them out of spite and hatred because of their own problems. It’s obvious and sad.”
Another user named “@FordFisher” shared his views, saying: “So apparently incels are reporting sex workers online to the IRS under the name “#ThotAudit.” The level of immaturity and sheer sexual frustration it would take for a guy to attempt to weaponize the state against a woman who hasn’t done anything to him is alarming.”
Harley, a local sex worker in Scotland and an activist with Scot-Pep stated “this attack is a testament to the vitriol and hatred that sex workers can illicit in some people.”
“This current campaign is another expression of misogyny born out of men who feel like society owes them sex on a plate and at their demand. Sex workers paying taxes is irrelevant, when we already pay taxes and have none of the rights held by other self employed workers. Misinformation and stigma leads to this environment where sex workers are systematically treated as punchbags for violent men the world across, this is nothing new but just another expression of the same old violent patriarchy refusing to accept that whores are people and deserve basic human rights.”