For a moment, it looked like Facebook was doing something good for a change. For a moment that is.
From Media Matters:
Facebook reportedly suspended anti-LGBTQ account “Libs of TikTok” for less than 24 hours following its latest anti-trans harassment campaign against Boston Children’s Hospital, which has resulted in violent threats against health care providers. The Facebook page and its larger Instagram account remained active with hundreds of posts during the suspension — and after it was lifted, Libs of TikTok immediately returned to targeting children’s hospitals providing gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Bear with me as I tell you the entire story. Let's start from the beginning:
From Yahoo News:
The account known as Libs of TikTok announced to its 1.3 million Twitter followers on Wednesday evening that Meta had permanently suspended its Facebook page with “no reason given.” In a screenshot shared in the tweet, Facebook had advised Libs of TikTok that it had been put on ice because it “didn’t follow our Community Standards.” The page’s disabling comes nearly a week after Libs of TikTok posted a false claim to its social media pages about gender-affirming surgical procedures, leading to a sustained campaign of right-wing harassment levied at a top New England pediatric hospital.
. . . The page was apparently disabled but still was visible on Facebook Wednesday night. A request for comment sent to Facebook’s press office was not immediately returned. A later tweet from the Libs of TikTok account confirmed “our page is back up on Facebook but we are still locked out and were last told that it’s permanent.”
. . . On Aug. 11, Libs of TikTok’s Twitter, run by Brooklyn real estate agent Chaya Raichik, posted a video clip from Boston Children’s Hospital about gender-affirming hysterectomies—or the removal of the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes—and claimed that the institution was offering these procedures to “young girls.”
The account followed its initial allegation up with more than a dozen inflammatory tweets and retweets that name-checked the hospital and accused it of mutilating children. In a Tuesday newsletter, Libs of TikTok fumed that the hospital “supports castrating kids and I have evidence,” adding that it “had a full menu of castration and mutilation options for minors to choose from.”
According to Media Matters:
Following Raichik’s social media posts on Boston Children’s Hospital, members of far-right online forums threatened to “start executing these ‘doctors’” and saying that “demons like this don’t deserve to breathe.” More death threats were also made against the hospital and its employees on Twitter, some of which are detailed below. The Department of Justice announced Wednesday it is investigating the violent threats directed at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Media Matters also pointed out that Raichik and her followers have been targeting other hospitals and medical providers. Ari Dennan, LGBT Program Director of the group, sent out the following tweet which showcases just how Raichik lies about children receiving 'trans surgery'
As when she promoted misinformation about Boston Children's Hospital, Raichik counts on her audience not actually watching these videos. This woman is a *clinical psychologist* with a PhD, not a surgeon. She's there to talk to trans people and their families, not operate.— Ari Drennen (@AriDrennen) August 18, 2022
Even after all of this, Facebook allowed Raichik and Libs of TikTok to return. And since returning, Raichik has continued to target hospitals and medical professionals:
Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters found that the Libs of TikTok page has an additional 480 posts that remain active on Facebook. These posts, which are nearly all photos and videos, have earned more than 375,000 interactions and include posts about Boston Children’s Hospital and other hospitals providing gender-affirming care.
Let's be clear. This is has nothing to do with censorship. No one has a right to push lies for any reason, especially under the guise of free speech. The situation is even worse because Raichik is deliberately undermining the right of trans men, women, and children to receive accurate healthcare. Lastly, Media Matters makes a frighteningly logical point in terms of why Raichik is declaring a war of disinformation against medical professionals:
The threats against Boston Children’s Hospital after it was targeted by Libs of TikTok — and Raichik’s reaction to these threats — demonstrate the sort of harm she apparently seeks to inflict. There are also troubling historical parallels: In 2009, Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death outside his church by an anti-abortion extremist following his targeting by right-wing media.