Libs of Tiktok: Twitter locks the anti-LGBT account for hateful conduct, following series of attacks on children’s hospitals

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Tiktok American Flag Libs of Tiktok

Far-right account Libs of Tiktok has had its Twitter account temporarily locked for hateful conduct

It’s not the first time the account has been locked for violations, having received a similar sanction from Twitter back in June.

 

Far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ social media account LibsofTikTok – which began on Tiktok but now has presence on all major social network platforms – has had its Twitter account locked (August 28) for hateful conduct. 

 

The account, with the help of various far-right GOP members, has built a rapid online following for posting out-of-context clips, featuring people deemed to be “on the left” (a lot of queers, basically), framed in such a way to ridicule and/ or paint its targets in a detrimental way (read more background further down this article).

 

Twitter account displayed on a laptop screen is seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on January 7, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Getty

 

The move from Twitter comes after hospitals and doctors across the US have faced harassment and even death threats over the medical care offered to transgender kids, following false claims and fabricated allegations levelled by the account, framing gender-affirming care as child abuse and mutilation.

 

 

This week, Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. became the most recent target when the account posted an audio recording showing hospital staff appearing to say that procedures had been performed on minors.

 

The hospital clarified that the claim was completely false and that none of the people recorded deliver care to patients.

 

“The information in the recording is not accurate. We do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18,” Children’s National said in a statement to NPR. “The operator speaking provided wrong information.”

The statement continued: “Since the spreading of misinformation on Twitter, we have been the target of a large volume of hostile and threatening phone calls and emails.”

 

 

Childrens’ hospitals in Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon, have also been targeted.

 

Last week, Boston Children’s Hospital recorded “a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails including threats of violence toward our clinicians and staff” after false claims it performs genital surgeries on minors.

 

 

“Hi Libs of TikTok, your account, @libsoftiktok has been locked for violating the Twitter rules,” reads the email report, going on to say the account had violated rules against “hateful conduct.”

 

“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” the statement reads. “Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account. Proceed to Twitter now to fix the issue with your account.”

 

The controversial Twitter account was previously locked back in June, following a series of tweets detailing drag shows across the US while far-right groups, like Proud Boys, were showing up to events threateningly and to cause conflict.

 

Libs of Tiktok received a “permanent” suspension from Facebook earlier this month, for similar offences, but the ban was reversed within 24 hours

Almost immediately once the ban was lifted, the account began targeting children’s hospitals. 

 

For background, ‘Libs of Tiktok‘ is an account which started on Tiktok (hence the name, now across all planforms), initially used to downplay the severity of COVID-19 and to promote the factually incorrect conspiracy theory that the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump through election fraud.

 

The account, with the endorsement of numerous GOP/ MAGA public figures, continued to grow in followers, and subsequently spawned audiences across most social platforms.

 

Chaya Raichik, its creator, reposts social media content from people who conservatives would class as “liberals” – often teachers and particularly LGBTQ+ people – framed and/or contextualised in such a way as to ridicule queer folk and provoke anger from right-wing conservatives.

 

Typically the material posted is shared with a view to enrage Republicans and religious groups, often then inciting social media ‘pile-ons’, including torrents of online abuse and hate, towards those unsuspecting everyday people it targets.

 

Although a pre-existing connection to big-name US conservative politicians has already been established, Libs of TikTok has also become a major branding weapon in the GOP arsenal (along with TERFs, so-called ‘gender critical’ voices and transphobes in the UK and around the world).

 

Essentially, it is a way of repurposing content, a bit like with memes, but the punchline is making LGBTQ+ people appear insane/ ungodly/ predatory/ a million other negative adjectives.

 

Subsequently, LoT also appears to have, in part, inspired the “grooming” rhetoric among Republicans in relation to Florida’s crackdown on LGBT-inclusive education, such as the much-discussed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

Deleted tweet from Libs of Tiktok

 

In 2021, in a since deleted tweet, Libs of Tiktok posted: “The Trevor Project is a grooming organization”, resulting in the charity – the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention service for LGBTQ+ young people – being on the receiving end of a lot of online abuse from the MAGA crowd.