Apparently so, and Libs of TikTok owner Chaya Raichik says it’s for good:
They suspended our account and we immediately appealed. Within 2 minutes they answered that we’re suspended for good. I’m sure we totally got a full and fair review
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 18, 2022
What happened? Raichik has gotten suspended from Twitter on multiple occasions, apparently the result of activists reporting her to Twitter’s censors for supposed violations of the terms of service on the platform. Taylor Lorenz and the Washington Post went so far as to doxx Raichik, ironically just days after a weepy Lorenz complained about her own treatment on social media.
Is that what happened here? The Daily Beast suggests that recent fact-checks on claims made by Raichik about a “gender affirming” practice at Boston Children’s Hospital may have triggered the Facebook cancellation. Raichik had claimed to have evidence that BCH and its pediatric and adolescent Gender Multispecialty Service performed sex-change operations on minors. This gained wide traction on social media, but BCH denied that they did any surgeries on people under 18 years of age:
In a Tuesday newsletter, Libs of TikTok fumed that the hospital “supports castrating kids and I have evidence,” adding that it “had a full menu of castration and mutilation options for minors to choose from.”
“All this came to light last week,” the author continued, “so I helped spread the horrors of what doctors are doing to young confused individuals.”
The account’s claims were swiftly debunked by fact-checking groups, including PolitiFact and Lead Stories, which pointed out that nowhere in the initial “33-second video did the [Boston Children’s Hospital] suggest that the procedure is offered to children,” and that the program requires patients to be 18 years old or above to consent to a hysterectomy. Libs of TikTok’s false claim, PolitiFact noted, “seemed to rely on the hospital having ‘children’ in its name.”
Perhaps, but it might also be that BCH even has a “pediatric and adolescent Gender Multispeciality Service.” Their statement included a declaration of being “proud to be home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States.” Why would that even be necessary in pediatrics?
Regardless, BCH denied doing “genital surgeries” on minors, rebutting at least the most explosive of Raichik’s claims:
Boston Children’s itself denied in a Tuesday statement that it had or would ever perform a gender-affirming hysterectomy on an underage patient. “All genital surgeries are only performed on patients age 18 and older,” its Center for Gender Surgery site reads.
The postings caused all sorts of angry messages and threats directed at their organization and staff, BCH said. The Daily Beast notes that other websites picked up Libs of TikTok’s claims and repeated them, which they claim resulted in massive harassment and threats of violence. However, the best TDB can do on the latter is point to a post from a “pro-Trump forum poster” that Vice actually found first, and another rando Telegram message. And as far as the “safety” argument for intervention goes, did Facebook remove the Washington Post and/or Taylor Lorenz after doxxing Raichik and creating a wave of hostile messaging and threats against her?
We know Facebook uses outside fact-checker organizations to police its platform, so in a sense this kind of action is hardly unprecedented. Assuming BCH is honest about not performing “genital surgeries” on minors (an oddly specific term that leaves out a significant number of transformative options, such as puberty-blocking meds), Libs of TikTok would have fallen afoul of Facebook’s ToS. If they didn’t give Raichik an opportunity to amend or delete the “offensive” posting, they didn’t play by their own rules, but if they did and Raichik refused, then … it’s a Meta world on Facebook, after all. There are still other, lesser options Facebook could have pursued, though, assuming this really was “misinformation,” such as:
- Marking the post as false or misleading
- Deleting the specific post in question
- Applying filters to the account to moderate any further mentions of BCH
And so on. However, the larger issue here is that we are getting to a point where the marriage of media outlets and Big Tech has granted itself the tools and the room to suppress any kind of heterodox opinions and arguments. If Raichik defamed BCH, they have other options than having her gagged, and it doesn’t take “fact checkers” to make that determination. The combine of MSM factcheckers like PolitiFact and social-media platforms in determining access have created a manipulative censorship regime that won’t stop with Raichik. Add in the highly subjective “safety” standard of “some crank made a random threatening post” as a reason to shut down participants, and we’re creating a precedent for speech control that will eventually go well beyond social media platforms.
By the way, Twitter might be next, putting Raichik out of business for good:
A representative for Twitter said they were looking into the harassment campaign.
Maybe we should step back and wonder a bit what kind of world we’re creating, and what kind of governance will emerge from a system of speech with media-establishment gatekeepers and culture police determining its access.
Update: Looks like their page is back up. For now, anyway.
Update: I had the wrong link in the post. Here’s the right link for the Facebook page, plus a then-update from Raichik at the time. Big hat-tip to Gray Wolf for the correction. (Hint: Follow Gray Wolf.)
UPDATE: Facebook is telling us that they did not suspend our account. We have no access though and are locked out. Looks like it might be an “error.” We should be back up and running soon 🙏🏼
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 18, 2022