News (USA)

Hate influencer Chaya Raichik outraged that people are calling her out for inspiring bomb threats

Chaya Raichik
Chaya Raichik Photo: Screenshot

Chaya Raichik, the former Brooklyn real estate agent turned anti-LGBTQ+ activist, responded bitterly to coverage of her LibsofTikTok social media accounts’ alleged role in inspiring threats against schools, libraries, and hospitals.

In a video posted to X on Thursday, Raichik railed against what she called a “massive coordinated campaign” by the “left-wing media” to paint her as “a terrorist.”

Early last month, Vice published a story in which 11 schools and school districts across the U.S. confirmed that they had received bomb threats within days of Raichik targeting them in her social media posts. Every one of the threats occurred during September 2023.

On Monday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported on a wave of bomb threats targeting elementary schools and public libraries in Davis, California, over a six-day period in August and September. The threats followed an August 21 post on X by Raichik featuring a video showing a Yolo County Library employee cutting short a speech by anti-trans activist Sophia Lorey in which she referred to transgender women as “biological men.” SPLC’s Michael Edison Hayden suggested that Raichik’s amplification of the incident to her 2.6 million followers may have led to the threats, noting that LibsofTikTok’s anti-LGBTQ+ posts have frequently led to threats of violence.

And on Thursday, USA Today published a report based on research from Media Matters that found a clear pattern in which bomb threats, death threats, and harassment against hospitals, schools, libraries, and individual educators have followed soon after Raichik posted about them.

Media Matters documented 33 instances of threats and harassment directed at 25 different institutions after Libs of TikTok targeted them between February 2022 and October 2023. USA Today confirmed “dozens” of bomb threats, death threats, and other forms of harassment that followed LibsofTikTok posts since February 2022, including at least two dozen bomb threats directed at schools and libraries during the summer and fall of 2023 alone. USA Today notes that the research likely undercounts the total number of threats, as some may have gone unreported.

Raichik told the outlet she opposes violence and argued that because there have been few arrests connected with these threats, there is no proof that they were made by her followers. She also falsely claimed that she only reposts videos and info that her targets have already publicly posted.

But as USA Today points out, she frequently adds misleading comments and directs her followers to contact her targets. She also posts surreptitiously recorded clips in which her targets likely do not know they are being filmed and said she is increasingly filing public information requests in an effort to reveal previously unknown information. She even admitted to posting “doctored or fake” content that riles up her followers.

In her Thursday video clip, she made several false or misleading claims and continued to spew anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation.

“They are calling me dangerous and violent,” she said. (Raichik is not referred to as “dangerous,” “violent,” or as “a terrorist” at any point in the SPLC, Vice, or USA Today stories.) “Do you know what is actually dangerous and violent? I’ll tell you: Introducing children to adult-themed, sexualized performances where half-naked men dress up as women and shake around their massive prosthetic breasts and butts in front of kids.”

“It’s chopping off the healthy body parts of young confused minors,” she continued, citing no evidence that this ever happens. (Gender-affirming surgeries are rarely, if ever, performed on people under 18. Gender-affirming care for minors generally consists of social transitioning for very young kids, and puberty-blocking medication and hormone therapy for adolescents, which have been recognized as evidence-based, safe, and effective for the treatment of gender dysphoria by every major American medical association.)

“It’s giving children pornography in schools,” she went on, again citing no evidence that this happens. “It’s confusing children about their identity and having them think that they could be another gender. That is what’s actually dangerous and violent. But of course none of these, uh, media people called any of that out or spoke about that at all.”

X owner Elon Musk replied to the video, telling Raichik, “You are on the side of right.”

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