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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

YouTube’s failure to moderate anti-LGTBQ hate speech

False accusations of LGBTQ people abusing children remain on YouTube, one of the few major platforms refusing to address the problem

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Graphic by Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

By Mia Gingerich | WASHINGTON – In a brazen violation of YouTube’s policy against hate speech, right-wing influencer Tim Pool spuriously claimed in a video released last Friday that “the LGBTQ community is now dominated by pedophiles” and levied the same slander against a Daily Dot journalist.

The fact that this video remains up nearly a week later, accumulating more than a quarter of a million views, is emblematic of YouTube’s systemic failure to crack down on even the most egregiously hateful content. 

Last week, following mounting pressure, Twitter told the Daily Dot it would ban targeted use of the term “groomer” to spread unfounded accusations of child abuse against LGBTQ people. Use of the word “groomer” as a way to disparage LGBTQ people is a part of a larger strategy by right-wing figures to co-opt language about child abuse to malign gay and trans people — a tactic that has led to harassment and violent threats against the LGBTQ community. 

In response to the Twitter news, Pool took to his YouTube channel (which has well over 1 million subscribers) on July 22 to disparage Claire Goforth, the Daily Dot journalist who has covered the issue, calling her a pedophile while also admitting he lacked any evidence to support his claims. Pool also falsely claimed that the LGBTQ community had been “taken over” by pedophiles. 

From the July 22, 2022, edition of Timcast, streamed on YouTube

Despite the fact that YouTube’s hate speech policy bans content “promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on protected characteristics, including gender identity and sexual orientation, the video remained up as of publishing.

Meanwhile, YouTube continues to reap financial benefits from Pool’s presence on the platform. Pool, who previously admitted he believes YouTube is more concerned with retaining advertisers than combatting disinformation, recognizes this incentive and is clearly exploiting it.

YouTube’s refusal to crackdown on Pool’s extremism reveals deeper problem with permitting anti-LGBTQ rhetoric

Baselessly accusing LGBTQ people of being “groomers” and “pedophiles” has been a consistent problem on numerous social media platforms. However, in response to the recent push for platforms to more closely monitor this smear, TikTok, Reddit, and Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) all took the step of clarifying that such rhetoric violates their hate speech policies. According to Goforth’s article from July 20, the only company that did not respond when asked by the Daily Dot about this rhetoric was Google, which owns YouTube. 

By allowing its rules against hate speech to remain nebulous, YouTube is refusing to take responsibility for a problem that goes well beyond this latest example from Pool. As previously reported by Media Matters, YouTube is rife with false accusations of LGBTQ people grooming children, with a particular focus on drag performers and those discussing LGBTQ topics in school. 

James Lindsay, a far-right author who has been instrumental in perpetuating this false claim, said that his use of the term started in October 2021 with his series titled “Groomer Schools,” which he streams on YouTube. Lindsay belongs to YouTube’s partner program, which allows him to directly financially benefit from his presence and following on the platform. 

Pool is not the only content creator with a large YouTube following who has recently maligned the LGBTQ community with false accusations of wide-spread pedophilia — Daily Wire’s Candace Owens, whose channel has more than 750,000 subscribers, falsely claimed in April that “pedophilia is around the corner” during her discussion of Disney’s commitment to LGBTQ inclusion. This plays into the slippery slope conspiracy theory pushed for years by extremists on 4chan, which falsely claims that the fight for LGBTQ rights will lead to more pedophilia. 

Owens went on to call a teacher who lamented having to hide her marriage due to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law a “mentally unstable adult predator who has access to children, our children,” and ended the segment by saying, “We must not give these freaks and predators so much as one inch.” Owens’ video remained up as of publishing.

From the April 5, 2022, edition of The Daily Wire’s Candace, streamed on YouTube

YouTube fosters extremism by failing to acknowledge prevalent and escalating anti-LGBTQ rhetoric

By not only failing to enforce its current policy on hate speech, but also refusing to even state that its policy covers prevailing hateful rhetoric, YouTube is signaling to increasingly extreme users that its platform will host their hate. 

In previous instances, YouTube has shown that it is perfectly capable of confronting this rhetoric when it decides to do so. After Media Matters revealed last year that YouTube was hosting multiple channels belonging to adherents of QAnon — a conspiracy theory that similarly seeks to wield false accusations of pedophilia for political ends — the platform responded by removing at least 18 of the flagged channels. 

Failing to address the problem of falsely accusing LGBTQ people and their allies of child abuse not only increases the risk of violence against LGBTQ people, it also hinders the efforts of those genuinely seeking to protect children from exploitation.

By letting the dangerous and inflammatory claims of Pool and others go unchecked, YouTube is directly profiting from the sort of rhetoric that is inciting violent acts in real life — a far cry from the “ongoing commitment to the community” it espoused just last month.

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Mia Gingerich is a researcher at Media Matters. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics and government from Northern Arizona University and has previously worked in rural organizing and local media.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

 

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen spreads hate across America

Violence mars speaking tour by the UK’s “Standing for Women” leader whose next stops include Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York City

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Screenshot/YouTube

CHICAGO – Outspoken British TERF Kellie-Jay Keen, who goes by the pseudonym “Posie Parker,” is in Chicago Sunday for the sixth stop in her 11-city “Standing for Women” speaking tour, which she launched in Los Angeles Oct. 16.

Her mission, she said when she announced the tour on Twitter earlier this month, is to “let women speak” and to “change the world.” 

“Women,” according to Keen and her supporters, only means cisgender people presumed to be female at birth and does not include transgender women. “No woman has a penis,” Keen said in Austin, Texas Saturday. “No man has a vagina.” GC activists and TERFs like Keen are campaigning for laws discriminating against trans rights on both sides of the Atlantic.  

Keen streamed the event on YouTube and posted photos on social media, showing what Keen claimed were Chicago police officers escorting her through crowds due to incidents of violence that had erupted on that tour. As of press time, Chicago police could neither confirm or deny whether on-duty officers provided security or whether off-duty uniformed officers were present. 

In Tacoma on Wednesday, police made one arrest for assault and The News Tribune reported at least six counter-protesters were treated for being hit with pepper-spray. The woman wielding the can of bear spray, similar to that used in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, was identified in that report and via YouTube as Jenna Hoch of Denver, an anti-trans activist. She can be seen in the video, backing away from counter-protesters, screaming “Don’t touch me.”

A 14-year-old girl claims to have been targeted by Hoch in a video posted to YouTube

“I was prepared for the violence,” Hoch told The News Tribune, following what she described as an assault in Portland, Ore. One protester’s hand was injured and required medical treatment, Hoch said. Keen, however, canceled the Portland event due to threats she claimed were made by Antifa. Video of a pie attack at that canceled event has since gone viral.

Despite canceling the stop in Portland, Keen did show up in Tacoma. A video posted by Keen shows a counter-protester storming the area of Tollefson Plaza where Keen and a dozen fellow speakers were holding their rally; One of Keen’s supporters swiftly intercepted the counter-protester. According to The News Tribune, about 30 people showed up at the plaza in support of Keen. However, within minutes, the crowd of 20 counter-protesters grew to about 200 and made their way into the plaza. By that time, Keen had already fled, according to the report. 

Keen is the U.K. activist who earlier this year advocated for gun-carrying, cisgender dads here in the U.S. to “use women’s toilets… to combat the insanity” of allowing transgender girls and women to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. Keen represents cisgender women who call themselves “Gender Critical,” and oppose laws and policies here and in the U.K. that allow transgender women to identify as women, compete as women and use public facilities dedicated to females. Keen also confronted this reporter covering the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships in Atlanta in March about use of public bathrooms. 

When Keen launched her speaking tour on Oct. 16 on Hollywood Blvd., she was joined by a handful of supporters and fellow speakers and no opposition. And police presence was non-existent. 

The same was true in San Francisco, her second stop. But when protesters started showing up at Keen’s events, she asked for but did not receive police protection, including in Tacoma. That visibly changed when she arrived in Austin, Texas on Saturday, as ex-detransitoner and former radical feminist Ky Schevers tweeted, with a screenshot of armed security guards flanking Keen. 

According to Schevers, “Jeannette Cooper of PEC [anti-trans group Partners for Ethical Care] hired private security for Chicago & K. Yang aka the Deprogrammer is paying for security for the NYC rally.”

Also on hand on Sunday in Chicago’s Pioneer Court: Counter-demonstrators brandishing signs declaring, “TERFs MACE KIDS.” 

The counter-demonstrators staged their own rally in Chicago’s Cityfront Plaza, attended by at least one man identified by Twitter users as a member of the Proud Boys.
Keen’s next stops include Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York City, and she announced she plans to make a documentary from video of her events.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Matt Walsh anti-trans rally: death threats, Proud Boys & extremists

Walsh’s rally attracted extremists, some of whom explicitly called for violence against medical professionals

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Graphic by Holly Butler for Media Matters

By Mia Gingerich | WASHINGTON – Last Friday, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh held a rally in Tennessee against gender-affirming care, a follow-up to his targeted misinformation campaign against Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Footage from the rally, which included speeches from Walsh, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and other media figures and local politicians, shows that it attracted a cadre of extremists, including members of the violent Proud Boys extremist group and multiple protesters brandishing signs explicitly calling for violence against medical professionals. Following the rally,

Walsh called the protesters “normal decent Americans” while Blackburn said she was “proud” to have participated. 

Walsh, an opportunist who has committed himself to an anti-trans crusade, recently claimed to be “building a nationwide organized movement” to target hospitals and medical providers with harassment after helping to drive harassment against Boston Children’s Hospital. After the facility reported threats against doctors and staff, Walsh continued to target the facility, which later received more than one bomb threat. In September, Walsh targeted Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with similar false claims and mischaracterizations of procedures offered to minors, falsely claiming the hospital would “castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults.” 

The efficacy of gender-affirming medical care for trans youth, and the serious psychological risks of denying that care, have been shown by numerous studies, and such care is supported by every major medical organization in America. 

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital responded to Walsh by saying it did not provide gender-affirming genital surgeries for trans youth but would temporarily cease other gender-affirming surgeries for minors, despite such surgeries having very low rates of regret. Following the success of his targeting of Vanderbilt, Walsh announced the rally at the Tennessee state capitol on October 21, which was billed as “The Rally to End Child Mutilation.”

Walsh’s rally attracted extremists, some of whom explicitly called for violence against medical professionals

Leading up to the rally, Walsh, who has a history of promoting or defending political violence, continually targeting healthcare providers and the LGBTQ community, comparing doctors who provide gender-affirming care to Nazis, calling for police to “[break] down the doors” of establishments hosting drag events, and tweeting he was “not just reporting” on the trans health clinic at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital but was “going to put a stop to it.”

Footage of the rally streamed by Walsh and local news outlets on YouTube showed multiple attendees at Walsh’s rally directly calling for violence against doctors, with one attendee’s sign reading “Doctors who mutilate children should be killed.”

picture of crowd at Matt Walsh's rally in Tennessee, one sign reads "doctors who mutilate children should be killed"

The sign was visible at the front of the crowd for the duration of the rally, including during speeches by Walsh and Blackburn. The man holding the sign, who can be seen cheering for Matt Walsh during a speech by Tea Party activist Matt Meckler, was also recorded by local media confronting counter-protesters before the rally yelling, “No mutilators, mutilators go home.” 

Footage from a local newscast of the event also captured an attendee positioned further back in the crowd holding a sign that said, “mutilate the mutilators.” 

screenshot of crowd at Matt Walsh's Tennessee rally, sign reads "mutilate the mutilators"

Following the bomb threat made against Boston Children’s Hospital, Walsh claimed that “no critic of gender ideology gains anything or has any incentive to make a threat.”

Footage from the rally also shows a number of members of the violent extremist group the Proud Boys, one of whom can be seen flashing a white nationalist hand signal as he passed counter protesters.

From CBS Channel 5’s livestream of Matt Walsh’s October 21, 2022, rally in Tennessee, streamed on YouTube

The rally also attracted fringe Christian fundamentalists who held oversized signs declaring, “homo sex is sin,” and that “hellfire awaits” gay people and “baby killers.” Another protester near the front can be seen holding a sign declaring, “We are at war,” with the other side reading, “No justice, no peace, free the J6’ers,” referring to those arrested for participating in the January 6 insurrection. 

Walsh and other speakers at the rally used incendiary language directing anger at medical professionals 

In addition to Walsh, speakers at the rally included GOP state politicians from Tennessee, who earlier this year passed multiple anti-trans bills (helping to perpetuate mental health crisis among trans youth in the state), and Blackburn, who used the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to push anti-trans talking points. Other speakers included Tulsi Gabbard, Dr. Colin Wright, and Chloe Cole.

During the rally, Walsh engaged the crowd with incendiary language, asking the audience, “As Tennesseans, do we believe in castrating children? Do we believe in that? Do we believe in drugging and mutilating kids?” Walsh added, “They believe in it.” He continued, saying, “I’m not going to leave it to my kids to fight this fight. We don’t leave it to our kids. We stand up and we fight. It isn’t our kids’ battle,” before going on to characterize his “fight” as “a battle of good versus evil.” 

In her speech, Blackburn directed the attention of the extremists in the crowd to Vanderbilt, saying Walsh and the Daily Wire did an “amazing job” targeting Vanderbilt, referencing “what was taking place just down the street right here in Nashville.” Later in her speech, Blackburn said she was going to “carry this movement to take care of our children, to end this child mutilation.” As she neared the end of her speech, Blackburn said, “Look, you all are happy warrior freedom fighters, and you are not going to let the left get their way with our children.”

Vanderbilt’s proximity to the crowd’s location was also referenced by State Rep. William Lamberth (R-TN), who said during his speech, “If not for Matt and his team, a certain university medical center just down the road would still be performing child mutilation surgeries.”

Walsh and other speakers reacted to the rally by targeting counter protesters and lauding the anti-trans protesters 

Immediately following the rally, Walsh, who last year called Kyle Rittenhouse a “victim” after Rittenhouse shot dead multiple people at a Black Lives Matter protest, tweeted a photo of the crowd where the sign calling for violence against doctors is visible, with Walsh simply captioning it, “We are winning.”

Blackburn tweeted after the rally that she was “proud to defend Tennessee kids from these dangerous procedures today.” Tulsi Gabbard wrote in her newly-launched Substack newsletter that there were “a handful of very noisy protesters who were there to support continued child mutilation” at the rally, but made no mention of those calling to murder doctors. 

During his podcast on Monday, Walsh targeted the counter protesters at the event, calling them “satanic leftist zombies” and “emotionally disturbed freaks and losers,” and claimed some of them were “of the paid variety.” Walsh contrasted them with his supporters.

In the end I have to be grateful that the disgusting hellspawns did show up because it provided exactly the kind of contrast that I want people to see. On one hand, you have normal decent Americans of all ages and demographics speaking out against one of the great atrocities of our time, and on the other hand you have a bunch of screeching goblins who have no argument to present, no point to make, and are only interested in silencing the other side by whatever means necessary. So it’s just up to each member of the public to decide whose side they want to be on. You see that footage, you decide, who do you want to line up with?”

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Mia Gingerich is a researcher at Media Matters. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics and government from Northern Arizona University and has previously worked in rural organizing and local media.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Matt Walsh: Police need to “break down the doors” of drag shows

“Charge them all as pedophiles. Throw them in prison, and whenever they get out put them on the sex offender registry for life”

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

NASHVILLE – The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh called for police to break “down the doors” of drag shows where children are present and charge everyone involved as pedophiles. He then compared drag shows to cancer, saying “just like cancer, stopping it is not a gentle or a painless process.”

Transcript:

MATT WALSH (HOST): Now, a few things here are confusing. Well, more than a few things, but focusing just on these for a moment. For one thing, the pronoun situation is all over the map, okay? It’s not clear of the various people mentioned here, which are actually females, though they all use female pronouns.

I mean, it doesn’t really make a difference I suppose, the child is being exploited either way, the adults are creeps and degenerates and worse either way, but that is a confusing aspect of this.

Also, I was not previously familiar with the term drag mom, though from context it seems that this is just another way of describing a professional groomer. The quote “drag child” is handed over to the drag mom to be groomed and conditioned. It seems to be essentially a sort of pedophilic, predatory farm system that the groomers have set up.

So, what can be done about this? That’s really the question. We’ve established that this is happening and it’s only getting worse over time. Progressivism does what the name suggests, what the label suggests, it’s progressivism so it progresses, except that it progresses in the same sense that, say, cancer progressives. It keeps spreading and getting worse and eating away at our civilization until it is stopped or until it destroys its host.

And just like cancer, stopping it is not a gentle or a painless process. The farther along the cancer is, the more aggressive you have to be in fighting it. Culturally, we are approaching, if we haven’t already reached, a terminal state, which means we have to be all the more aggressive, which calls for two things.

First, obviously involving children in drag events in any capacity should be outright criminalized everywhere. There is no other way. You know, this doesn’t stop until police are breaking down the doors at these places and carting the adults away in handcuffs. Charge them all as pedophiles. Throw them in prison, and whenever they get out, if they do get out, put them on the sex offender registry for life.

That man in the first clip dancing around with his skirt up should be treated legally as a child predator. That’s the level of protection that our children are owed and the people sexualizing and exploiting them are owed that level of punishment.

This is something that needs to start in red states. And if Republicans take over the White House, it should be handled on the federal level as well. 

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Media Matters for America is a politically left-leaning 501, nonprofit organization and media watchdog group. MMfA was founded in 2004 by journalist and political activist David Brock as a counterweight to the conservative Media Research Center.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Deleted Walsh blog post: Concept of adolescence “modern plague”

The Daily Wire personality has come under fire for previous comments in which he defended teenage pregnancy

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – Self-described “theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh dismissed adolescence as a modern invention for which he had “a cure,” according to a deleted post from his blog discovered by Media Matters. Walsh has come under fire for past comments he made advocating for teenage girls to marry and get pregnant. 

According to a version of the blog post stored in the internet archive, the Daily Wire personality argued that “virtually every culture has its own child-into-adult initiation, and almost all of them happen significantly before the 18th birthday.”

In the 2013 blog post, Walsh, who has helped lead a right-wing campaign of harassment against children’s hospitals providing lifesaving gender-affirming care to trans youth and who has previously slandered LGBTQ people as “groomers,” wrote:

In modern Western society, we’ve delayed the onset of adulthood, instead inventing a new sort of human: the “teenager.” The teenager exists in this limbo which we’ve created; we call it “adolescence.” Adolescence is a state-of-the-art modern innovation, like crack-cocaine or chemical warfare.

The World Health Organization describes adolescence as a phase of life between childhood and adulthood between ages 10 and 19 when young people “experience rapid physical, cognitive and psychosocial growth” that “affects how they feel, think, make decisions, and interact with the world around them.” Walsh derides that period as as “a product of our expectations,” saying that if we expect 13-year-olds to act like adults, they will be able to do so:

Adolescence isn’t a product of brain chemistry — it’s a product of our expectations. If we expect 23 year olds to act like they’re 13, then we will get just that. For thousands of years, 13 year olds were expected to act like they’re 23, and those expectations were met.

Walsh has faced criticism for previous commentaryreported by Media Matters, in which the far-right pundit suggested that girls as young as 16 should marry and become pregnant, saying, “The problem is not, per se, teenage pregnancy — it’s unwed pregnancy.” Walsh argued that girls who are “still in high school … want, biologically and metaphysically and with everything in their body, they want to settle down, they want to start a family” and said that 16-year-olds are adults:

At about 16, you’re an adult who is mature and can make decisions — you are that at 16. I don’t care what anybody says. And if you’re going to tell me it’s different, well, then how come for the first 10,000 years of human civilization, that’s the way it was? It’s just recently where all of a sudden we’re all r——- until we’re 25?

In a two-tweet thread, Walsh called the comments “out of context material from a rock morning show I hosted in my early 20s on an obscure station in Delaware,” adding, “I apologize for nothing.”

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Ari Drennen is the LGBTQ program director for Media Matters, where she has worked since January 2022. She has a bachelors degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College. Previously she worked at the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

After Twitter lifted Libs of TikTok’s suspension- she went back at it

Following the suspension, the extreme anti-LGBTQ account immediately returned to targeting teachers & a children’s hospital

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

Editor’s note: Libs of TikTok business partner Seth Dillon confirmed in a tweet that the account has once again been suspended for violating Twitter’s rules against hateful conduct, just one day after returning from its last seven-day suspension.

By Natalie Mathes | WASHINGTON – After Twitter allowed the viral hate account “Libs of TikTok” back onto its platform following a seven-day suspension, the extreme anti-LGBTQ account immediately returned to targeting teachers and a children’s hospital for supporting trans youth.

Started by Chaya Raichik, Libs of TikTok first gained a following on social media by scandalizing instances when gender identity and sexuality were discussed in schools and targeting teachers for harassment. Raichik has previously amplified content from the organization led by self-described “Christian fascist” Kelly Neidert, alleging that schools are hiding information about students from parents. Raichik has also previously called for all openly LGBTQ teachers to be fired.

Libs of TikTok has been suspended several times on multiple platforms, including InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Raichik had previously been suspended from Twitter for accusing LGBTQ people of “grooming” children, which Twitter confirmed violates its policies against hateful conduct after facing pressure from Media Matters and others. Her Twitter account was also suspended after she targeted multiple hospitals for providing gender-affirming care, leading to violent threats against patients and providers and forcing at least one hospital to request support from law enforcement. (On September 5, Raichik baselessly claimed that a bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital “was probably a left-wing person trying to get me suspended.”)

Notably, Raichik previously pledged to redouble her attacks on hospitals providing trans people with health care after she was suspended from Twitter in August. 

On September 28, Raichik took to Substack to announce that Twitter had suspended her account again for violating its hateful conduct policy. Raichik promised to continue her attacks on drag queens and best-practice health care for trans youth, which she called “the insanity of the Left.” Raichik also threatened to sue Twitter if it permanently bans her from the platform, and solicited donations for the “Libs of TikTok Legal Fund.”

Libs of TikTok immediately returned to targeting educators who support LGBTQ youth

After returning to Twitter, Libs of TikTok published a thread targeting the Hilliard City School District in Ohio, where teachers are allowed to wear badges indicating that they are a “safe person” to talk to about LGBTQ issues. Raichik’s thread was posted less than an hour after known anti-LGBTQ propagandist Chris Rufo shared a thread attacking the same school district.

The badges have QR codes on them that link to educational resources intended for teachers and other adults, which Raichik fearmongered “leads to sites containing sexually explicit content.” The local news clip about the story that was previously shared by Libs of TikTok before its most recent suspension even explained this: The superintendent of Hilliard City Schools stated that teachers have been reminded that “the resources linked to the QR code were for adult learning only,” and that their responses to students who ask about the badge “should be age appropriate.”

Libs of TikTok also immediately returned to targeting children’s hospitals after Twitter lifted the account’s suspension

On October 2, Libs of TikTok posted a thread on Twitter targeting Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Maine. The account shared a clip from a 2016 report by ABC affiliate WMTW News 8 in Portland, Maine, that featured two parents whose trans child had said she wished she could “die” so “God could bring me back as a girl.” The news report listed the child’s full name, and later in the thread Raichik posted an article listing the name of an endocrinologist who works at the children’s hospital.

On October 3, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the Department of Justice to investigate “the increasing threats of violence against physicians, hospitals and families of children for providing and seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care.” They also called on Twitter and other platforms “to do more to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation,” “to take bolder action when false information is shared about specific institutions and physicians,” and “to enforce safety and hateful conduct policies to stop the endangerment of patients, families, physicians and health care staff.” 

Raichik has shown that unless Twitter answers this call with the “bolder action” it deserves, Libs of TikTok will continue to abuse the platform by spreading dangerous misinformation and targeting trans youth and their families — along with teachers and a growing list of hospitals and health care professionals. 

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Natalie Mathes is a researcher for Media Matters and a Board Member (jr.) of the The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, New York.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for American and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Anti-Trans far-right pundit Matt Walsh says gender affirming is evil

Walsh, who has over a million Twitter followers which includes the anti-LGBTQ Libs of Tik-Tok, called gender-affirming surgery “mutilation”

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Screenshot/YouTube

NASHVILLE – Daily Wire host and far-right extremist anti-transgender activist Matt Walsh went on Twitter Monday attacking trans people writing: “I believe that gender ideology is one of the greatest evils in human history. There is nothing they can threaten that would make me back down from this fight. I’d rather be dead than surrender to this madness. It’s as simple as that for me.”

Walsh, who has over a million followers which includes the anti-LGBTQ activist account Libs of Tik-Tok, has called gender-affirming surgery human body mutilation, added in another tweet: “The medical establishment, Big Tech, and the federal government conspire to punish those of us who criticize the accepted narrative. This is full on tyranny, and it will of course be defended by every single leftist who spends every day whining about “fascism.”

Alejandra Caraballo, a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic and a former staff attorney at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and a Staff Attorney at the LGBTQ Law Project at New York Legal Assistance Group, noted on Twitter that Walsh’s tweet could incite violence against Trans Americans.

“This is a direct threat and incitement of violence against trans people. When he says “gender ideology,” he really means trans people. Matt says he’s willing to die to fight it. Some of his followers may take him up on that and engage in real violence,” Caraballo wrote.

Most recently attacks on American hospitals providing trans healthcare, especially those with clinics treating trans youth have been targeted by anti-Trans extremists led by Walsh and Brooklyn, New York-based Chaya Raichik, a former real estate agent whose ‘Libs of Tik-Tok’ have spread misinformation and lies about gender-affirming surgery which has fostered attacks on those healthcare facilities by far-right extremist elements.

Alarmed at the increase of violence,  in a letter sent Monday to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the American Medical Association joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Children’s Hospital Association asking the Department of Justice investigate [the] increasing “threats of violence against physicians, hospitals and families of children for providing and seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care.”

Referencing Walsh’s declaration and others who complain that their anti-trans view points are free speech and being censored, including the recent 7 day suspension of Raichik that expired Monday as well as the letter asking the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department to investigate , Caraballo noted:

“The instigators of the anti-LGBTQ moral panic are now pushing the narrative that they are going to be prosecuted by DOJ for their speech. They won’t be prosecuted. They haven’t violated the law. However, they need to fuel further outrage and feign persecution.”

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