Fox News has recently sourced multiple segments from “Libs of Tiktok,” a right-wing troll account on Twitter targeting teachers and schools with anti-LGBTQ smears. With Fox News hosts and guests now attacking educators as part of the anti-LGBTQ campaign surrounding Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, Libs of TikTok has proven to be a critical piece of infrastructure in the network’s ongoing attempts to roll back civil rights and diminish equality in this country.
Started on TikTok in April 2020 (where the account has since been removed) the Libs of TikTok account moved to Twitter in November 2020, where it soon gained momentum following a series of popular tweets and promotion by conservative influencers Joe Rogan and Meghan McCain. A self-proclaimed “mini Project Veritas,” the Libs of TikTok account has amassed over 500,000 followers, growing into an influential online marketplace for right-wing attacks. Many of its viral posts feed into the full-fledged moral panic on the right about LGBTQ+ issues being taught in public education, accusing “groomer teachers” of using schools as “government run indoctrination camps” for conversations about gender and sexual identity. The account has also tweeted examples of teachers supposedly promoting critical race theory in the classroom, a major obsession in right-wing media, and suggested that transgender people are part of a “serious mental health crisis.” As the right-wing media increases their defense of the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida, the Libs of TikTok content has become ammunition for their arguments.
Libs of TikTok has essentially become a Twitter-based wire service for Fox News prime time to source anti-transgender and homophobic content related to teachers and youth. The anonymous woman who runs the account gave an interview to Fox News in a December 2021 segment mocking “unhinged leftists,” telling guest host Tammy Bruce that the account “started really as a joke and then it kind of grew into this force for exposing many teachers and other things that are going on in society.” She also shared that “when there’s actually action taken, meaning a teacher gets fired or suspended, it’s a really great feeling.”
Tucker Carlson recently shared clips sourced from the Libs of TikTok account in a March 29 segment attacking the Human Rights Campaign’s work on transgender equality. The clips targeted individuals who claim to be teachers sharing ways they include gender and sexuality conversations in their classrooms. Carlson attributed the clips to Libs of TikTok, and did not blur out the usernames of the accounts that originally posted the content, opening up the users to potential harassment that Tucker Carlson Tonight has a history of instigating. Later, the Libs of TikTok Twitter account tweeted the clip from Carlson’s show with the caption: “So every emotionally marginal young woman with a nose ring now teaches at your kid’s school.”
Earlier that evening, Fox’s Jesse Watters quoted a tweet shared by Libs of TikTok that claimed to represent internal messages from a fourth grade teacher who wanted to celebrate and promote LGBTQ+ pride in her classroom.
Watters also sourced multiple clips from Libs of TikTok in a March 15 segment on “the left’s sneaky and quite sinister attempts to wage psychological warfare on our children in the classroom.” Watters and his guest, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, went on to claim “leftist radicals” are brainwashing American kids.
Discussing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill on March 9, Fox host Laura Ingraham aired clips tweeted by the Libs of TikTok account the day before. Ingraham cited the clips of a summer camp leader and preschool teacher as evidence of supposed “grooming,” demanding, “When did our public schools, any schools, become what are essentially grooming centers for gender identity radicals?”
On March 1, Libs of TikTok tweeted about Northwest Missouri State University using the term “Womynx.” About an hour later, Fox News published an article about the school “facing backlash” for the term. The article embedded a different tweet from Libs of TikTok, which the account later celebrated, saying, “We made it to Fox” with a clapping emoji.
In a February 2 segment, Watters claimed the left’s “new movement” is university professors working” to normalize one of the most depraved and sickening acts a human can commit – pedophila,” sharing clips and information tweeted the day before by the Libs of TikTok account.
Update (4/11/22): On his April 8 show, Tucker Carlson praised “Libs of TikTok” and encouraged his audience to follow the account “before it's banned if you want to know what may be happening in your child's school.” Later in the segment, Carlson called on men to storm their children's schools and “thrash the teacher.”