Libs of TikTok, the anti-queer activism page that keeps growing and irritates the US mainstream media

Libs of Tik Tok: conheça a página que denuncia o ativismo queer

Libs of Tik Tok: discover the page that denounces queer activism| Photograph:

“Here’s a Appropriate way to talk to young children about gender: ‘Parents guess the sex of the baby based on the genitals and sometimes they get it wrong’, says a pink-haired teacher, in a video just over a minute published on an account on TikTok, a Chinese social network that has more than one billion users worldwide.

In another post, an individual explains that people who are against abortion “seem to be really interested in finding out the sex of their children very early on” because of the “cultural idea that gender confers humanity”. Humanization, therefore, would prevent the termination of pregnancy.

These and other videos make up the collection of the page entitled Libs of TikTok (“Progressives of TikTok”, in free translation), protagonist of the most recent disputes of narratives that shape the “culture war” in the United States. Created in November 2020, the purpose of the page, present on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and, more recently, on Substack, is to publicize publications made by teachers and educators adept at the theory


, according to which all human sexuality is the result of arbitrary and oppressive social constructions. The content is collected in publications made by the influencers themselves in open profiles.

Before making headlines because of a report by The Washington Post, Libs of TikTok garnered fans among conservative and progressive influencers critical of the culture” woke”, which includes supporters of theories of “deconstruction” of genres. “Libs of TikTok is one of the best pages ever created in history,” praised presenter Joe Rogan. Videos released by the page were widely reported by Fox News, The Daily Wire and other conservative outlets, some with consequences that went beyond the virtual environment: there are reports of teachers who were fired or were given warnings after their videos went viral on the internet.

This would have been enough for The Post reporter Taylor Lorenz to warrant coverage of what he called “a powerful cross-platform social media influencer, spreading anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and fueling the right-wing media outrage machine.” The report, published on the last day 19, gives to understand that the page only serves the viralization in a distorted and exaggerated way of private content produced by random LGTB teachers without any bad intention.

The reality is much more complex. One example is the case of professor Tyler Wrynn, who resigned after the backlash to a video posted on TikTok that ended up on the page, described by the article as “an expression of pride and love for his LGBTQ students”. Wrynn’s words, in fact, were, “if your parents don’t love and accept you for who you are this Christmas, fuck it, I’m your dad now.” “This (the exposure of the video) certainly contributes to the culture war, but so does the direct statement that teachers must supplant the role of parents”, evaluates analyst Bill Zeiser, in an article for The Spectator magazine.

It must be considered that the account has already promoted false content, such as a publication claiming that an American school had installed a litter box in the bathroom for students who sexually identified as cats. Others, in the opinion of journalist Kat Rosenfield, in an article for Unherd, generate some discomfort by exposing people who are “very young, or clearly sick, or both”. But many of the complaints – especially those that had concrete results – are alarming.

Zeiser himself highlights, for example, the case of the State University of New York professor who was fired after Libs Of TikTok shared a video of him saying: “the notion that is wrong even with a one year old is not very obvious to me. There are reports in some cultures of grandmothers performing oral sex on babies to soothe them when they are colicky.”

Doxxing and stalking

Before Lorenz’s story was a mere skewed and distorted description of the page: by publishing the woman’s name, job and the address of the person behind the page, the Washington Post decided to double the bet. Appointed as a realtor residing in Brooklyn, New York, the creator had her history of political positions described in the article.

According to the journalist, the woman doubted the outcome of the American elections and participated in the demonstrations on January 6, , who went down in the invasion of the Capitol (although there is no evidence that she was part of the group that actually entered the building). In addition, he committed the “crime” of asking for the resignation of former New York Governor Andre Cuomo, and praising the Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.

Dozens of supporters and former supporters of President Donald Trump, journalists, analysts and liberal and conservative intellectuals harshly criticized the said demonstrations and even to those who insist on the thesis that the American elections were rigged. Whatever the political position of the voter in question, however, it is supported by the US Constitution, which provides for freedom of expression and the right to privacy. The disclosure of personal data such as full name and address is known as “doxxing”.

With the publication of the article, the Washington Post started a new flood of mentions of Libs of TikTok. Days after the report, the author, Taylor Lorenz, claimed to be the victim of dozens of threats from right-wing profiles, an accusation echoed by other vehicles that covered the case. In response, the creator of the page stated: “This psychopath has appeared in the homes of people who have the same last name as me. I have received dozens of death threats, and now she plays the victim”.

“Destroying the lives of random citizens by exposing them to a wider and hostile public is an undertaking bipartisan”, recalls Kat Rosenfield, citing occasions in which conservative journalists exposed the identity and address of individuals through controversial publications, of lesser severity or similar to those published by Libs of TikTok. “But the practice looks particularly disgusting when it’s led by one of the big companies in the business. In a prominent example, also from the Washington Post, the paper inexplicably ended the life of a random woman who had worn an offensive Halloween costume at a party two years before”, he explains.

In addition to the conservative voices known, the case led progressive journalists to come out in defense of the page, like the founder of The Intercept and columnist for Carta Capital, Glenn Greenwald. “Imagine if someone exposes the identity of a trans activist who is popular on Facebook or a Black Lives Matter activist with a huge following on Twitter. Do you think these people who are defending Taylor Lorenz would say ‘oh, that was a fair report’?’ Is this real journalism’? They would enact a national mental health and press freedom crisis. which were used against the page.

Amid the war of narratives, Twitter @LibsOfTikTok jumped from about 660 a thousand followers to the mark of one million, in addition to raising a few hundred financial supporters. Although there are progressives defending and promoting the profile, much of the press refuses to consider that, perhaps, the success of the page is due not to a “far-right conspiracy”, but to legitimate concerns of ordinary people regarding the content. that circulates on the networks and what its creators are teaching in schools. All this because, as summarized by Bill Zeiser, “what the ‘Lorenzes’ of the world fear most is that social media users who do not share their agenda will continue to highlight the radicalism of the left”.

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