Monday, August 29, 2022

Libs of Tik Tok suspended from Twitter for seven days after continuing to spread lies about trans kids receiving hysterectomies

It was bound to happen, but it should be longer than seven days.

Libs of Tik Tok has been targeting children's hospitals around the nation, claiming that they are performing hysterectomies (the removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and sometimes ovaries) on trans kids. In spite of the fact that this claim has continuously been refuted, the site and its founder, Chaya Raichik, continues to spread it.

And her followers have been threatening these hospitals with violence. According to The Daily Dot, an incident with the Children's National Hospital in DC may have been the final straw:

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Libs of TikTok shared audio that caused a right-wing explosion, in which she spoke to at least two employees at Children’s National Hospital and asked them if they would perform hysterectomies on children under the age of 18 to aid in transitioning.

 The call came as conservatives have led a charge against children’s hospitals for providing care to trans patients, as part of a moral panic against transgender people, one which Libs of TikTok both spearheaded and egged on. In the audio, it’s unclear who Raichik speaks to, but she goads them into saying they would conduct hysterectomies on patients under the age of 18. 

 According to the Washington Post, Children’s National Hospital didn’t dispute the accuracy of the audio but said that the employees provided inaccurate information. Conservatives have pointed back to a line on Children’s website, which said the hospital provided gender-affirming care to patients from ages “0-21.” 

 Children’s Hospital told the Post that the information on its website was also erroneously posted. But the denials from Children’s National Hospital did not satiate the right-wing crowd stirred up by the audio. It led to a flood of threats against the hospital, which has happened to a number of children’s hospitals that Libs of TikTok and other prominent conservatives posted about this month.

(Editor's note - You can listen to the audio on the Daily Dot's webpage. Raichik has long since blocked me on Twitter months ago.)

There are two things about this which bothers me. 1. Gender-affirming healthcare is very complex. It isn't always about surgeries, particularly involving trans kids

2. Until I see more information, I have a serious problem with believing that Raichik talked to an actual worker. She has been called out in the past for deliberately misrepresenting comments or taking them out of context:

Some of the claims about Children’s National, Boston Children’s and other hospitals were pushed by the Libs of TikTok account, which regularly reposts videos and social media posts from LGBTQ people, teachers, schools and other institutions. The clips are sometimes taken out of context and framed to fuel outrage or ridicule of LGBTQ and anti-racist causes, in what the account owner has described as “exposés” of “the crazies.” For example, a short clip about gender-affirming hysterectomies from a video originally posted by Boston Children’s that Libs of TikTok reposted makes no mention of patients’ ages. But Libs of TikTok tweeted alongside the clip the false claim that the hospital offers the surgery “for young girls.”

And her defenders aren't exactly credible themselves.  Prominent conservative Seth Dillon posted the following telling people to support Raichik's 'work'.

But earlier this year, Dillon got in trouble for spreading a false story that a child tipped a half-naked drag queen.

For folks not happy at the short suspension, stay tuned. Raichik remains defiant and is threatening to target more hospitals. A permanent ban could be imminent.

Meanwhile Shopify is still allowing Raichik to sell merchandise off of her brand of smearing LGBTQ Americans. Here is what you can do to stop it

Huge hat tip to Ari Drennen, Erin Reed and so many others on the frontline doing the hard work. 

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