The So-Called Thot Audit
In the past week, numerous men have called the IRS on women who use premium Snapchat accounts to make money. The men, who paid for the service of the premium Snapchat, have been reporting the women to IRS for tax fraud, even though a majority of sex workers who use premium Snapchat as a means to make money file taxes regularly.
The business model of a premium Snapchat account has created another pathway for sex workers to earn a living. This has been a popular tool but recently it came under fire on Twitter.
The name “premium Snapchat” is a bit misleading; there is no “premium account” option on Snapchat. Sex workers usually have a public account to advertise on as well as a second, private account. They have customers pay first, through PayPal, Venmo, Patreon, etc., before they are added to the private Snapchat account.
The trend of calling the IRS on sex workers originated from a Facebook post. On November 22nd, user David Wu posted a poll asking “Is ‘sex-work’ real work? How would you guys consider it?” Another user, Kuba Zucc’d commented: “I just use these polls to find self admitted sex workers and report them to the IRS and local law enforcement.” A screenshot of the post went viral in Reddit threads and 4chan, where men discussed going after online thots and making sure they pay their taxes. The wave of trolls made its way onto Twitter, where the dispute between the trolls and sex workers escalated.
Popular Twitter user (and misogynist) @rooshv promoted the #thotaudit on November 24th by tweeting out a screenshot of the IRS whistleblower information to his 48,000 followers.
Although men online boasted about calling the IRS on sex workers, many of them lacked the actual information required to report suspected tax fraud, i.e. detailed facts such as street address, email, marital status, and telephone number.
Twitter user Dr. Andra Porter posted the actual IRS form that needs to be completed in order to file tax fraud, stating that she is not afraid of the #thotaudit and that the #thotpatrol was just a fear tactic. The trolls claim they want to make sure everyone is paying their taxes, but this is just another form of harassing sex workers. If they were so worried about people paying their taxes, why not go after the YouTubers or Twitch streamers who also use Patreon? Sex workers have been targeted because their work is not valued in a society that rapidly consumes it. This controversy is not about taxes. It is about men hating women. It is about misogynists taking out their anger by harassing sex workers online.
This controversy of misogynist men harassing sex-workers speaks to a larger social issue. Men consume products from sex workers, but don’t recognize their work as legitimate. Sex work is legitimate work. Sex workers pay taxes. Stop devaluing sex work and start recognizing that sex work is labor and rightly deserves to be acknowledged as such.