Misogynists Are Targeting Sex Workers Online With This Viral Campaign

Sad woman on phone


Profile Picture
The internet is a strange (and slightly disgusting) place. But just when you thought it couldn't get any stranger or more gross, a group of self-proclaimed "gamers" (read: misogynists) have "united" to take down sex workers. How? By reporting them to the IRS. 

Earlier this week, an "influencer" (read: creep) took to his Facebook page to urge his followers to report sex workers to the IRS. 

Jezebel reports he said that his online horde “Need to get rid of them, or they need to pay taxes if it’s real work." His post launched the now viral #ThotAudit — a campaign by internet trolls to audit sex workers, primarily those who sell photos or videos online. 
"GAMERS UNITE!!!," he wrote on Snapchat. 
Another Twitter-famous (read: infamous) misogynist wrote of the campaign: “Men are aggressively organizing to report all thots. I don’t blame them: these girls are getting a free ride via... a broken sexual marketplace that is rigged in the favor of females.”
Men are allegedly requesting "services" from workers, then using that communication to report them to the government. However, only one instance of this happening has been recorded on Twitter. 

Most sex workers aren't nervous about the audit because they, well, pay taxes. 

Sex workers across the internet came forward to say they're quite knowledgable about their tax responsibilities, and that they abide by tax law.
"Oh my god get over yourselves, sex workers already pay our taxes," said writer and adult actress Lorelei Lee on Twitter.
"It’s just a new retread of the ‘criminal sluts’ male fantasy of sex work: that we’re all ‘loose women’ who are too lazy to do ‘real work’ and make a killing without paying taxes,” writer and sex worker Maggie McNeill said to Jezebel.

But this phenomenon is indicative of something seriously scary — for everyone.

While sex workers may not need to be fearful of audits, there is a reason to fear doxxing (the searching for and publishing of private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet) and stalking from these perpetrators. This is violence sex workers frequently encounter due to societal perceptions of their work, just on a grander level. 
Even if you don't agree with sex work, this misogynistic rhetoric reveals a deep hatred for women's autonomy, female sexuality, and female economic empowerment. It's a deep hatred popular enough to feed a viral thread. And other women are directly in its line of fire. 

More on internet trends: