The account known as Libs of TikTok announced to its 1.3 million Twitter followers on Wednesday evening that Meta had permanently suspended its Facebook page with “no reason given.” In a screenshot shared in the tweet, Facebook had advised Libs of TikTok that it had been put on ice because it “didn’t follow our Community Standards.”
The page’s disabling comes nearly a week after Libs of TikTok posted a false claim to its social media pages about gender-affirming surgical procedures, leading to a sustained campaign of right-wing harassment levied at a top New England pediatric hospital.
“They suspended our account and we immediately appealed. Within 2 minutes they answered that we’re suspended for good,” Libs of TikTok’s Twitter account groused. “I’m sure we totally got a full and fair review.”
The page was apparently disabled but still was visible on Facebook Wednesday night. A request for comment sent to Facebook’s press office was not immediately returned. A later tweet from the Libs of TikTok account confirmed “our page is back up on Facebook but we are still locked out and were last told that it’s permanent.”
It went on to claim that “perhaps it was just an ‘error’” on Facebook’s side.
Facebook has nuked LibsOfTikTok after their recent campaign against children's hospitals that treat trans people.
LibsOfTikTok's account, run by Chaya Raichik, says the deletion is "for good." It's not temporary. pic.twitter.com/9rYD8DzGD7
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) August 18, 2022
Boston Children’s Hospital, the facility dragged unwittingly into the maelstrom provoked by conservative influencers like Libs of TikTok this week, presides over the first transgender health program for pediatric and adolescent patients in the United States. Its Gender Multispeciality Service program, founded in 2007, provides gender-affirming care to those from 3 to 25 years old. It has treated more than 1,000 families, according to its website.
On Aug. 11, Libs of TikTok’s Twitter, run by Brooklyn real estate agent Chaya Raichik, posted a video clip from Boston Children’s Hospital about gender-affirming hysterectomies—or the removal of the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes—and claimed that the institution was offering these procedures to “young girls.” The account followed its initial allegation up with more than a dozen inflammatory tweets and retweets that name-checked the hospital and accused it of mutilating children.
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.”
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.
But the baseless claims had already been amplified by other far-right figures, like former Trump aide Stephen Miller, who tweeted, “This is monstrous. How does anyone involved in this still have a medical license?” Conservative websites like The Daily Caller and The Gateway Pundit also added fuel to the fire by churning out articles, framing the false allegations as fact.
Within a few days, Boston Children’s Hospital had been buried under an avalanche of “hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails,” it said Tuesday, “including threats of violence toward our clinicians and staff.”
Several such violent threats were subsequently uncovered by reporters. “Long past time to start executing these ‘doctors,’” a pro-Trump forum poster wrote, according to Vice News.
“Demons like this do not deserve to breathe! Crimes against humanity=DEATH,” a Telegram user said, alongside a link to an article parroting the hysterectomy claims.
Boston Children’s continued in its statement: “We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based.” The facility said it was working with law enforcement to protect its staff and community, and that it was “proud to be home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States.”
C.P. Hoffman, senior policy counsel at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that though the inflamed anti-trans rhetoric might make it more frightening for patients to seek out gender-affirming care, they shouldn’t be discouraged or scared away. “The potential joy of being able to live as your true self is worth it,” they added.
Libs of TikTok boasted nearly 40,000 followers on Facebook prior to its suspension. The account had previously been banned from Instagram, also owned by Meta, in May.
As of Wednesday night, all of Libs of TikTok’s false and anti-trans Twitter activity was still accessible online. A Twitter spokesperson told NBC News on Tuesday that they were looking into the matter.
The Boston Police Department told the Post that detectives had opened an investigation on the harassment campaign, but declined to provide details.