[UPDATED] Rhyheim Shabazz’s Twitter Account Has Been Pulled Down Due To False DMCA Claims Filed Against Him

Posted November 22, 2019 by with 29 comments

***This story is being continuously updated below.***

While filing a false DMCA against someone is considered perjury and can lead to civil penalties, that isn’t stopping one deranged Twitter user from filing multiple false DMCAs against gay porn star Rhyheim Shabazz.

Shabazz—a newcomer and wildly popular fan favorite who rose to superstar status this year as he interacted daily with over 300,000 followers—had his Twitter account pulled down over the weekend due to the fraudulent DMCAs, with the anonymous filer falsely claiming to Twitter that Shabazz’s own photos and videos aren’t his, and his tweets containing those photos and videos were therefore in violation of U.S. copyright law.

Here’s what Shabazz’s Twitter account looks like right now:

And here, for example, is a screenshot of one of Rhyheim Shabazz’s tweets—containing a photo of himself—that was falsely reported for copyright violation:

The DMCA claimed that Rhyheim Shabazz infringed on someone else’s copyright by posting the photo that he took of himself, which is obviously insane. But, Twitter (like most websites and web hosting services) accepts DMCA claims without verifying their authenticity (or the authenticity of the person filing them), and they removed the photo of Shabazz from Shabazz’s account. Twitter sent Shabazz this message notifying him of the removal:

The false DMCA is included in the takedown notice sent to Shabazz, and in it, the person who committed perjury with the fake claim says his name is “Tony Frank.” The phony address “Frank” provided comes up as a McDonald’s restaurant in Atlanta. The telephone number—which Str8Up has redacted below, since it does belong to someone (just not anyone with the name “Tony Frank”)—and email address provided are also fake, as is the locked Twitter account linked in the claim that’s falsely named as the original owner of Shabazz’s photo of himself. Here’s the false DMCA:

While one DMCA (false or not) shouldn’t be getting someone’s entire account pulled down (Twitter can just remove the reported content in individual tweets), the lunatic harassing Shabazz has actually filed at least four different DMCAs on Shabazz’s account, claiming that several of Shabazz’s own videos don’t belong to him. It’s presumed that because of the DMCA bombardment, Twitter opted to pull down Shabazz’s entire account, rather than deal with one tweet at a time.

Here was another false DMCA, which claimed that Shabazz’s own video of himself didn’t belong to him. The filer used the fake name “Libon Bacchus” on this one, and gave a fake address pointing to a building near Times Square in New York:

Shabazz is now in the process of disputing the claims so his account can be reinstated, and as a prolific fan content creator whose primary connection to those fans is via Twitter, the harassment and false claims have to be disruptive, to say the least. But, Shabazz has taken the (hopefully) temporary suspension in stride.

“It comes with the territory, and it’s not unexpected,” Shabazz tells Str8Up. “I’ve gotten advice from followers in terms of reaching out to Twitter, so hopefully there’s some sort of resolution coming in my favor.” He added, “Either way, I’m not stressed about it.”

In terms of who is behind the false DMCAs, there are several theories floating around on Twitter (many are claiming the perpetrator is a deeply disturbed performer who’s been jealous of Shabazz’s success), but Str8UpGayPorn has been unable to confirm any of those rumors.

This story will be updated when Shabazz’s account has been reinstated, or if a new account is launched.

UPDATE 11/14/2019:

Rhyheim Shabazz has informed Str8Up that he’s filed a DMCA Counter Notice with Twitter to dispute the false DMCAs filed against him, and the person harassing him with those fake filings now has 10 days to file a court order proving that the alleged copyrighted content is his. Since the deranged cyberstalker obviously can’t do that, Twitter will be able to reinstate Shabazz’s account once the 10 days have passed and the fake DMCAs are considered null.

UPDATE 11/22/2019:

Because the person harassing Shabazz obviously couldn’t take the fake DMCAs he filed to court, the time he had to respond has expired, and Shabazz’s counter notices were successful. Twitter reinstated his account today and, good news, he is “back to fucking”:

UPDATE 11/23/2019:

After being reactivated for less than 24 hours, Rhyheim Shabazz has had his account pulled down again.

The lunatic harassing Shabazz has apparently filed more fake DMCAs, and because Twitter is unable or unwilling to prevent fake DMCAs from being filed (and because they’re legally obligated to act on them), they pulled down Shabazz’s account sometime this morning.

Why Twitter chooses to pull down the entire account as opposed to just the individual tweets on which the fake DMCAs are being filed is unknown, but I’ve reached out to them for a response.

The cyberstalker has also gone after Rhyheim Shabazz’s boyfriend, performer Leon Reddz, and managed to get his account pulled down today, too (likely by filing more fake DMCAs):

It’s ironic (and maddening) that while Twitter has pledged to prevent bullying and harassment of its users, they’re literally enabling bullying and harassment of its users by allowing this psychopath and others like him to anonymously file false claims. Clearly, the social media platform has no real interest in blocking fraud and harassment, as it arbitrarily enforces some of its “rules” on some users, while letting others freely engage in targeted harassment every day.

As you can see below, the cyberstalker is able to start up a fake account for the people he’s harassing (he opened one for Leon Reddz sometime this month), then use that fake account to pretend to be the real Leon Reddz when filing the fake DMCAs:

While there’s probably no point in reporting this fake account (again, all of Twitter’s decisions are abritary), it might help, so please report the fake Leon account here (note that this fake one has an underscore after Leon’s name). The real one remains suspended as of post time.

Here below is a screenshot of an email the cyberstalker sent to Rhyheim Shabazz last week. In the email, the stalker (who is now committing multiple felonies, including extortion) continues to threaten Shabazz and demands money from him in order to stop the harassment. The stalker (using the fake name “Arika Gordon”) also tells Shabazz that Str8UpGayPorn “will be taken down” for publishing this article:

This is a developing story…