Outraged conservatives accused The Washington Post of doxxing the woman behind "Libs of TikTok" after one of the newspaper's journalists managed to unmask her.
The right-wing Twitter account is known for sharing conspiracy theories, homophobic and transphobic content and anything that attacks liberals. It has recently helped set the agenda of right-wing discourse in attacks against public education and teachers.
Washington Post correspondent Taylor Lorenzidentified the woman behind the account as Chaya Raichik, a Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish real estate agent, noting she had created the account in November 2020 and spent some time experimenting with Twitter handles before landing on the Libs of TikTok angle last spring.
Raichik used the account to share inflammatory content, such as a clip of a woman teaching sexual education to children in Kentucky she branded a "predator," a claim that quickly made its way to Fox News personality Laura Ingraham's program.
The account has also served as a space vital to the spread of conspiracy theories alleging teachers are "grooming" children and proceeding with an "indoctrination" campaign designed to make children more tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community.
Libs of TikTok has proven so popular, garnering a follower base of nearly 800,000, that it is "basically acting as a wire service for the broader right-wing media ecosystem," according to Ari Drennen, LGBTQ program director for the watchdog group Media Matters.
But the fact Lorenz's story used publicly available information–namely Raichik's real estate license–to identify her prompted conservatives to accuse the news outlet of engaging in unethical behavior.
Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson featured the controversy on his program.
Many conservatives have lashed out at The Washington Post–and at Lorenz–in the wake of the news.
Meanwhile, Raichik has continued to tweet in attempt to lend credence to claims her personal information was weaponized against her.
The backlash prompted The Washington Post to issue a statement in which it stood behind Lorenz, saying her reporting methods comport entirely with The Washington Post's professional standards."
Many others have also stood behind Lorenz and defended her against right-wing attacks.
Raichik claims to run the account alone and said she does not do it for "money or fame."
She says she moved from New York to California to turn running the account into a full time job. She also claimed to have attended the January 6 Capitol riot which she characterized as more peaceful than BLM protests.
The Capitol riot left 5 people dead, over 100 law enforcement officers injured and millions of dollars of damages at the United States Capitol building.
Prior to her identity being revealed, she gave several anonymous interviews, including one in which she boasted about using the account to get teachers fired from their jobs and to motivate followers to take over school boards to remove LGBTQ+ teachers from schools altogether.
In addition to her conspiracy theories about LGBTQ+ teachers, Raichik has used the account to popularize a conspiracy theory schools were putting litter boxes in bathrooms for students that identified as cats.