Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) ripped into former Twitter executives for refusing to ban the anti-LGBTQ+ Libs of TikTok account for “inciting violence against trans people.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments took place during a House Oversight Committee hearing that was ostensibly meant to discuss Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post’s October 2020 article on the contents of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential nominee Joe Biden. Conservatives baselessly claimed that Roth and other Twitter employees suppressed the article at the request of Democrats to aid Biden’s presidential campaign.
During the hearing, Ocasio-Cortez questioned the executives about a bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital inspired by misinformation about gender-affirming surgery posted by Libs of TikTok’s founder Chaya Raichik.
“Are you aware that from August 11th to August 16th [Libs of TikTok] posted false information about Boston Children’s Hospital claiming that they were providing hysterectomies to children?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
Yoel Roth, who was once Twitter’s head of trust and safety, confirmed he knew of the claim as well as others from the account.
“And are you aware that this lie was then circulated by other prominent far-right influencers?” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
Roth said he was.
“And are you aware that all these claims, which I have reiterated were false, culminated in a real-life harassment and ultimately a bomb threat to the Boston Children’s Hospital?”
Again, Roth confirmed he was aware.
“And this account is still on that platform today, isn’t it?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Regrettably yes,” Roth confirmed.
And Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t hold back her frustration.
“Despite inspiring a bomb threat due to the right-wing incitement of violence against trans Americans in this country because they cannot let go of this obsession with fixating violence and inciting violence against trans and LGBTQ people, in addition to immigrants, in addition to women of color.”
“This is the party that cannot pick on anyone their own size. And they are trying to co-opt an entire social media platform and use the power of this committee and of Congress in order to pursue a political agenda.”
AOC: Despite inspiring a bomb threat due to the right wing incitement of violence against trans Americans because they cannot let go of this obsession with inciting violence against trans people.. This is the party that can’t pick on anyone their own size pic.twitter.com/V1q84EYAwL— Acyn (@Acyn) February 8, 2023
On August 11, Raichik reposted about 13 tweets and a right-wing “expose” claiming that the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts was conducting gender-affirming surgery on children as young as two or three years old and performing hysterectomies “for young girls” as part of their gender-affirming care program.
The fact-checking site PolitiFact later debunked the claims, but physicians at the hospitals received so many death threats, harassing calls, and emails that the hospital had to hire extra security and give doctors new guidance on responding to threats. The misinformation campaign also led to multiple bomb threats.
Raichik has used her account to accuse teachers, parents, activists, and doctors of “sexualizing” kids through LGBTQ+ media content, drag queen performances, and gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. Her posts have made led to death threats against medical professionals and veterinarians, armed protesters at drag events, and the harassment and firing of LGBTQ+ allied teachers.
Anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and activists have falsely claimed that medical providers are giving “irreversible” treatments to trans “children.” However, in reality, young children are only encouraged by medical professionals to continue exploring their gender. Pubescent children are given “puberty blockers” to give them time to stave off further biological changes while they decide on their future course of treatment.