It has only been a few weeks since Washington Post tech reporter Taylor Lorenz broke down on MSNBC talking about the online attacks she has been subjected to during her career. One might have hoped that her televised tears would spark some self-awareness regarding her own propensity to unleash twitter troll armies against her ideological enemies. On Tuesday, with a bizarre post doxxing the creator of the anonymous Libs of Tik Tok twitter account, Lorenz showed us that nothing had changed.
Libs of Tik Tok is a quirky and wildly popular account that showcases some of the more off the wall rants about race, gender, and other culture war issues that appear on the Tik Tok app. It’s a constant parade of an eccentric crowd explaining how there are actually 72 pronouns, or that teachers, not parents, should instill in children their moral beliefs. None of the content is manipulated or edited, rather, Libs of Tik Tok simply exposes to its mostly conservative audience what progressives are saying to each other online.
Lorenz and her employer, the Washington Post, apparently have decided that the operator of the account is important enough, and dangerous enough, that she needs to be publicly outed, in other words, doxxed. Lorenz knows very well that this can and likely will unleash a torrent of attacks against the woman, exactly the kind of attacks Lorenz says were so bad in her case that they gave her PTSD.
The hypocrisy is astounding and frankly often feels like the point. Last year Lorenz falsely accused a tech executive of using a slur in a chatroom, complaining that nobody in the chatroom “called him on” the thing he never said. She eventually admitted she regretted the incident, but it’s pretty par for her petty course. It looks more and more like she can dish out the doxxing and online harassment, but isn’t very good at taking it.
The main justification that Lorenz gives for the outing of Libs of Tik Tok is that the account is doing harm, she ludicrously suggests, to the LGB and Trans communities. There is of course, no actual evidence for this assertion. Instead there are quotes from the LGBTQ Program Director at wildly left wing Media Matters and a media strategist for the ACLU. I guess the president of the Drag Queen Story Hour Fan Club of America couldn’t be reached for comment.
This is a pretty marvelous example of the cycle of progressive intolerance. An anonymous account uses lefties’ own videos to mock them, and then the Washington Post goes and asks a bunch of other lefties if this is dangerous, they of course say that it is, and bingo, suddenly you have all the cover you need to invite waves of online, or real life attacks on your conservative political enemies.
This harassment of Libs of Tik Tok by billionaire Jeff Bezos’ newspaper is particularly telling for one key reason. Nobody is alleging that the videos aren’t real. What liberals and Democrat PR operatives like Lorenz should be able to do is say, “Sure these are some extreme examples, but most liberals don’t believe this wacky stuff.” But they can’t, because either they do believe wacky things like gender being as invented as the tooth fairy and America being the most racist place on earth, or they are too afraid to say otherwise. Either way, the answer for the progressive elite, as usual, is to go on an unhinged attack on the messenger.
This was the secret of Libs of Tik Tok success: While the progressive professional class talked about culture war issues in vague and broad terms, saying things like we must uphold trans dignity, the account exposed amatuer progressives saying the quiet parts out loud. This is why Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shared the account widely during passage of the parental right education bill, slandered as the “don’t say gay” bill by Democrats. While those Democrats claimed and still claim that fears of gender identity education in kindergarten are a made up moral panic, Libs of Tik Tok showed actual teachers, making perfectly clear just how real all the gender bending is.
In fairness, Libs of Tik Tok was probably not going to be able to stay anonymous much longer, her identity has been known in some conservative media circles for some time, and her appearances on Tucker Carlson’s top rated cable show put her under greater scrutiny. Still, there was simply no justification for the Washington Post to out this woman. No member of any marginalized community is the slightest bit safer today because of it.
For her part, Libs of Tik Tok seems to be taking her doxxing in stride, tweeting Tuesday, “Words cannot express how appreciative I am of the support I’m receiving right now. Thankfully I’m currently holed up in a safe location. I am confident we will get through this and come out even stronger.” There seems to be good reason for this confidence, given that no sane person thinks Libs of Tik Tok did anything even remotely wrong. This is not some sketchy alt right troll account from 2015, rather it is a woman merely putting a spotlight on what progressives themselves say.
The predictable irony today is that it is of course Lorenz, not Libs of Tik Tok who is now drowning under the berating posts of Twitter users. A photo of her knocking on the door of a relative of Libs of Tik Tok as if she was working the Watergate investigation is creating particular mirth. But honestly, she really did bring it all on herself.
The other main takeaway is the support that Libs of Tik Tok has acknowledged and has expressed gratitude for in her tweets. If this doxxing was meant to chill speech, to warn off other potential Libs of Tik Tok style accounts, it seems to have failed miserably. That support, in and of itself, is a positive sign for an American right that has often spent too much time policing the rhetoric of its own, and not enough attacking the dangerous progressive ideologies threatening our nation and society. The doxxing of Libs of Tik Tok by Lorenz was disgraceful, but in the end it will only make the account, and American conservatism stronger.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.