How the ‘Libs of TikTok’ exposé has divided the internet

How the ‘Libs of TikTok’ exposé has divided the internet
'The ultimate waste': Young people say no to TikTok, social media

A recent Washington Post article on the anti-LGBTQ+ TikTok account, Libs of TikTok, has ignited a debate online about doxxing people and everyone is weighing in.

The discourse on doxxing, or publishing private information typically with malicious intent, comes after popular technology journalist Taylor Lorenz is accused of doxxing the woman behind Libs of TikTok.

While the woman behind the account has asked to remain anonymous in the mainstream news, breadcrumbs across the internet have helped Lorenz uncover her real name.

But exposing the woman behind the account has launched a storm of conservatives to criticize Lorenz's reporting, now leading to a debate if the dox was warranted.

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What is Libs of TikTok?

Libs of TikTok is a TikTok account that began reposting videos from liberal people, often in the LGBTQ+ community, and framing them as harmful.

The account has propagated an anti-LBGTQ+ agenda by posting out-of-context videos, declaring that people in the LGBTQ+ community, or allies, are "grooming" the children of America to become gay or transgender.

Content from Libs of TikTok has garnered the account suspended twice from Twitter and once from TikTok.

The account is popular amongst right-wing people and extended its content from TikTok to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and spawned a newsletter too.

Lorenz reported that in August the account filed a trademark as a "news reporter service".

Videos from the account have been featured on Fox News and potentially inspired legislation from Ron DeSantis.

Why is it popular?

The account initially gained popularity after podcast host, Joe Rogan, mentioned it on a show in August, then endorsed it in September, calling it "one of the greatest f***ing accounts of all time”.

Segments on Fox News showsTucker Carlson Tonight and Jesse Watters Prime Time and have used videos from Libs of TikTok to comment on issues as well.

The account potentially inspired the Parental Rights in Education bill, otherwise known as the"Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida.

According to a report from Media Matters, DeSantis' press secretary Christina Pushaw said the account "opened her eyes" to LGBTQ+ education in schools.

Why is it in the news now?

People are debating whether Lorenz had any right to disclose the woman's name, claiming she is a private citizen.

But in the report, Lorenz says Travis Brown, a software developer, found the Twitter account's history where the woman used her real name before switching the account name. Apparently, the woman also used her real name and cellphone number when registering the domain ''.

The information was there but Lorenz was the first to publish her name - Chaya Raichik.

But critics are saying Lorenz had no right to dox the woman because she disagreed with her values.

On the flip side, others believe Lorenz had every right to publish Raichik's name because she was generating harmful rhetoric surrounding LGBTQ+ people under the guise of a news service

The debate has raised questions over the technicalities of private citizens versus public figures on the internet.

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