Home » Libs of TikTok posts and her followers create a trail of terror

Libs of TikTok posts and her followers create a trail of terror

When Chaya Raichik—the viciously anti-LGBTQ+ social media poster better known as Libs of TikTok—posts, threats and violence toward her targets follow. A number of instances of threats following Libs of TikTok posts have been widely reported, but a new Media Matters analysis shows it’s happening regularly. At this point, Raichik has no plausible deniability: She knows that when she posts about a hospital or school or library, claiming it’s “grooming” children or exposing them to inappropriate material, her followers are likely to respond with threats and harassment.

“Media Matters documented 25 institutions, events, and individuals who reported threats after being targeted by Libs of TikTok, and 8 who reported harassment — a total of at least 33 instances of threats or harassment.” All of those happened in 2022 or 2023. That’s a lot of threats and harassment for one person to incite in less than two years. Sometimes what follows is online harassment. Sometimes it’s doxxing. Sometimes it’s threats of physical harm, including bomb threats. There have been in-person disruptions of drag queen story hours or Pride events following Libs of TikTok posts, though it’s also possible that the Proud Boys didn’t need her inspiration.

Raichik’s trail of social media-inspired terror includes threats or harassment against at least 10 hospitals and/or hospital staff following her posts about them. Her campaign against medical providers offering gender-affirming care led to three bomb threats targeting the Boston Children’s Hospital, one of which led to an arrest and guilty plea. Her post about an Oregon medical center that had turned a cancer patient away because of what the center described as “ongoing disrespectful and hurtful remarks about our LGBTQ community and staff” was followed a day later by a bomb threat that forced it to close for a day.

It’s not just hospitals. Libs of TikTok also targets schools, libraries, and individual educators—and at least 16 of them have experienced the fallout from her posts, with 13 of them receiving bomb threats. A Salem, Massachusetts, elementary school received three bomb threats within days of a Libs of TikTok post targeting it.

To be sure, Libs of TikTok does post about schools and hospitals that don’t then face harassment and threats bad enough to make it into news reports. She is prolific: “A Media Matters review of Raichik’s Twitter account found that Libs of TikTok has tagged or named at least 222 schools, education organizations, or school system employees in 2022, often directing users to harass an individual school district or teacher.” But when a person’s posts railing against specific schools, hospitals, or people are quickly followed by reports of harassment and bomb threats—bomb threats to children’s hospitals and schools, for heaven’s sake—not once or twice but dozens of times in less than two years, that person cannot pretend not to know what’s going to happen after they post. They can’t pretend that’s not the intent behind one ugly post after another, all based on the worldview Raichik offered up in her big coming-out interview with Tucker Carlson that LGBTQ+ people are “just evil people. And they want to groom kids. They’re recruiting.”

Raichik isn’t alone. Obviously she has followers enthusiastic enough to direct threats and harassment at the subjects of her social media posts. But she’s also fully embedded in the right-wing media world. Right-wing websites, including Fox News, have mentioned Libs of TikTok or Raichik more than 700 times so far this year, Media Matters found, and “Sinclair Broadcast Group’s national program The National Desk and its 70 local stations accounted for 35% of the more than 700 articles that mentioned Libs of TikTok and were published on right-wing websites.”

This is a movement based on hate and increasingly using threats and violence as a regular tool. And Chaya Raichik personally is going to get someone killed one of these days.

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November 2023