A host of right-wing figures, including Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, took aim Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz on Tuesday after the reporter discovered the creator of ‘Libs of TikTok’, a Twitter account with over half a million followers that shares anti-LGBTQ+ content and has become influential in conservative media.
Lorenz published an article on Tuesday morning that revealed that New York real estate salesman Chaya Raichik had created Libs of TikTok, a social media account that has been promoted by a host of right-wing figures like podcast host Joe Rogan and frequent Fox News guest and reporter Glenn Greenwald.
The account, which operates on Twitter and other social networks, often shares videos posted on various platforms by LGBTQ+ people and makes fun of them in captions, including several videos of teachers reposted on Twitter and a video of a young trans child reposted on YouTube with a caption calling the situation ‘child abuse’.
Libs of TikTok frequently promotes the narrative that young Americans are being “educated” about gay and transgenderism, and Lorenz – whose beat includes coverage of online culture – noted that the account has called on followers to stand up. complain to schools, run for school board seats and advocate for policy change.
The content was amplified by TV personalities like Carlson and Laura Ingraham, and also found fans among conservatives such as Christina Pushaw and Florida Governor’s press secretary Ron DeSantis, whom Lorenz wrote in her story. once Libs of TikTok offered the inspiration for a new Florida law that limits classroom teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity, which critics dubbed the Don’t Say Gay Law.
Content shared by the account has also made its way into the political arena on other occasions, including when a Nebraska lawmaker repeated a false claim once pushed by Libs of TikTok that a school in Michigan was setting up bins. litter boxes in bathrooms for students who identify as cats.
After her story was published, Lorenz was targeted by right-wing figures like Carlson, who said on his Tuesday night show that Lorenz worked “for the Deep State” and ran a “campaign of intimidation designed to close a very effective Twitter thread”.
Some conservatives have also accused Lorenz of harassment for knocking on Raichik’s door, as well as “doxxing,” a form of cyberbullying in which people maliciously post sensitive or identifying information about someone, though reporters pointed out that knocking on doors is an integral part of reporting. process, and the Libs of TikTok account was initially publicly registered in the name of Chaya Raichik.
pushaw tweeted on Tuesday the To post was used to “intimidate and dox private citizens trying to protect children from leftist degenerates”, and Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, called Lorenz “psychopathin a tweet.
TikTok’s Lorenz and Libs did not immediately return requests for comment.
Washington Post Senior editor Cameron Barr defended Lorenz’s reporting in a statement, calling the journalist “accomplished and diligent” and saying that her methods “come entirely within the professional standards of The Washington Post.” TikTok’s Libs, meanwhile, called Barr’s statement “LIESsaying the story included a “link to personal information” about Raichik that was removed “because they knew what they were doing was heinous.”
“Rather than debating ‘doxxing,’ I hope people can read this story and see the stark escalation of attacks on gay and trans people, and the crucial role this account has played in the media ecosystem of right,” Lorenz said in a statement. Tweeter after the story was published.
Although Libs of TikTok was temporarily suspended from Twitter and TikTok for violating community guidelines, the account has garnered more than half a million followers on Twitter, as well as thousands on Instagram, YouTube and social media. right-wing apps such as GETTR. Raichik – who allegedly posted conspiracy theories about voter fraud on a previous Twitter account and suggested she attended the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, 2021 – has claimed in the past that several teachers were fired after being shown on the account, Lorenz reported. The account’s popularity comes as GOP-led state legislatures across the country have sought to pass bills restricting discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, and conservative pundits like Ingraham argue that public schools serve as “grooming centers.”
Greenwald also blasted Lorenz on Twitter after her story was published on Tuesday, saying she “harassed” Raichik’s relatives by coming to their home to confirm Raichik’s identity. Lorenz wrote in her story that a woman at an address linked to Raichik’s name in Los Angeles did not identify herself and said a Tweeter from Greenwald claiming that she visited Raichik’s family home allowed her to confirm that she had the correct home. Greenwald called it “dumb viral lieclaiming that Raichik asked Greenwald to make it public that Lorenz was visiting Raichik’s relatives in order to “dissuade Taylor from stalking more people.”
Meet the woman behind Libs of TikTok, secretly fueling the right-wing scandal machine (Washington Post)