The Woman Who’s Behind Libs Of TikTok – And Secretly Charge The Right’s Outrage Machine
A Twitter account called Libs of TikTok posted a video of a woman teaching sex education to children in Kentucky, calling the woman in the video a “predator.” The next evening, the same clip was featured on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program, prompting the host to ask, “When did our public schools, any schools, become what are essentially grooming centers for gender identity radicals?” Follow us for more updates at WWW.TODAYLEAKED.COM
Libs of TikTok reposts a steady stream of TikTok videos and social media posts, primarily from LGBTQ+ people, often including incendiary framing designed to generate outrage. Videos shared from the account quickly find their way to the most influential names in right-wing media.
The account has emerged as a powerful force on the Internet, shaping right-wing media, impacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and influencing millions by posting viral videos aimed at inciting outrage among the right.
The anonymous account’s impact is deep and far-reaching. Its content is amplified by high-profile media figures, politicians, and right-wing influencers. Its tweets reach millions, with influence spreading far beyond its more than 648,000 Twitter followers. Libs of TikTok has become an agenda-setter in right-wing online discourse, and the content it surfaces with shows a direct correlation with the recent push in legislation and rhetoric directly targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
The Woman Who’s Behind Libs Of TikTok:
“Libs of TikTok is basically acting as a wire service for the broader right-wing media ecosystem,” said Ari Drennen, LGBTQ program director for Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog group. “It’s been shaping public policy in a real way, and affecting teachers’ ability to feel safe in their classrooms.”
The account has been promoted by podcast host Joe Rogan, and it’s been featured in the New York Post, the Federalist, the Post Millennial, and a slew of other right-wing news sites. Meghan McCain has retweeted it. The online influencer Glenn Greenwald has amplified it to his 1.8 million Twitter followers while calling himself the account’s “Godfather.” Last Thursday, the woman behind the account appeared anonymously on Tucker Carlson’s show to complain about being temporarily suspended for violating Twitter’s community guidelines. Fox News often creates news packages around the content that Libs of TikTok has surfaced.
“The role I’ve seen this account playing is finding new characters for right-wing propaganda,” said Gillian Branstetter, a media strategist for the ACLU. “It’s relying on the endless stream of content from TikTok and the Internet to cast any individual trans person as a new villain in their story.”
Throughout its increasingly popular posts and despite numerous media appearances, the account has remained anonymous. But the identity of the operator of Libs of TikTok is traceable through a complex online history and reveals someone who has been plugged into right-wing discourse for two years and is now helping to drive it.
An Account In Search Of A Voice — And A Big Break From Joe Rogan:
Chaya Raichik had been working as a real estate salesperson in Brooklyn when, in early November 2020, she created the account that would eventually become Libs of TikTok.
Under her first handle @shaya69830552, she minimized covid, cast doubt on the election results, and promoted a dubious story about a child sex trafficking ring. On Nov. 23, 2020, Raichik changed handles, this time going by @shaya_ray and identifying herself publicly as a real estate investor in Brooklyn. She began doubling down on election fraud conspiracies using QAnon-related language. Early that December, she joked about launching a clothing line titled “voter fraud is real.”
And Secretly Charge The Right’s Outrage Machine:
In January 2021, Raichik started talking about traveling to D.C. to support Trump on Jan. 6 at the Stop the Steal rally. When violence broke out at the Capitol that day, she tweeted a play-by-play account claiming to be on the ground. “They were rubber bullets from law enforcement. 1 hit right next to me,” she said. She posted videos from the crowd and spoke of tear gas being deployed nearby. After saying she left the riot, she used Twitter to downplay the event, claiming that it was peaceful compared to a “BLM protest.”
Later that month, Raichik cycled through two more Twitter names, this time focusing on state politicians. First under the handle @ChayaRaichik and the display name “Chaya Raichik,” and then under the new handle, @cuomomustgo, she railed against New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), calling for him to resign. She promoted the efforts to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). She also began posting about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), calling him “actually brilliant.”
Biden’s Face On The Leaves:
By early last March, she pivoted to a parody account titled @houseplantpotus, pretending to tweet as if she was a houseplant living with President Biden. She revamped her avatar to look like a small shrub with Biden’s face on the leaves. At that point in time, she also claimed to be proudly Orthodox Jewish, live in Brooklyn, and work in real estate in her Twitter bio.
But the house plant parody never took off. On April 19, 2021, she pivoted her account once again, this time to Libs of TikTok.
Just four months after getting started, Libs of TikTok got its big break. Joe Rogan started promoting the account to the millions of listeners of his hit podcast. He mentioned it several times on the show in August, then again in late September. “Libs of TikTok is one of the greatest f*-king accounts of all time,” he said. With his seal of approval, Raichik’s following skyrocketed.
Libs of TikTok gained more prominence throughout the end of last year. Cementing its spot in the right-wing media outrage cycle. Its attacks on the LGBTQ+ community also escalated. By January, Raichik’s page was leaning hard into “groomer” discourse, calling for any teacher. Who comes out as gay to their students to be “fired on the spot.”