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Home/The State of the Union/Taylor Lorenz Attacks ‘Libs of TikTok’

Taylor Lorenz Attacks ‘Libs of TikTok’

At no point does she consider the possibility that the videos on Libs of TikTok are genuinely outrageous.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 13: Taylor Lorenz and John Green attend VidCon 2019 at Anaheim Convention Center on July 13, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, MSNBC ran a segment on female journalists who have been harassed on the internet. One of the subjects was Taylor Lorenz.

After reading a series of nasty tweets and messages that were directed at her, Lorenz disclosed that she has “severe PTSD” from the harassment she has endured.

“You feel like аny little bit of informаtion thаt gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the Internet to destroy your life,” she said, her face quivering. “It’s terrifying.”

She’s not exactly ducking under tables at the sound of fireworks or shuddering at mentions of the Viet Cong.

Whether the result of “severe PTSD” or otherwise, Lorenz published a piece Tuesday in the Washington Post doxing a private citizen, listing the person’s name and linking to her real-estate license and home address— inviting exactly the sort of abuse Lorenz decried in the MSNBC segment.

The woman whom Lorenz doxed runs Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account that takes videos from left-wing TikTok users and reposts them on Twitter. Lorenz claims the videos are posted with “incendiary framing designed to generate outrage” and have been used to justify “anti-LGBTQ+ legislation” around the country. At no point does she considers the possibility that the videos are genuinely outrageous and not simply perceived as such because of “incendiary framing.” In fact, she deliberately obscures the contents of the videos she describes in the piece.

Lorenz opens with a reference to a video that Libs of TikTok re-posted on March 8, which, in Lorenz’s words, depicts a “woman teaching sex education to children in Kentucky.” She notes that the video later appeared on Laura Ingraham’s evening Fox program, to illustrate how videos posted by the account “quickly find their way to the most influential names in right-wing media.”

But what about the video itself? What, exactly, did the “woman teaching sex education to children in Kentucky” say? Lorenz doesn’t add that information. A cursory Google search reveals that the woman in the video is a self-described “magical pleasure worker” who runs a “sexy summer camp” for children in rural Kentucky. In the video, she claims:

Masturbation is really healthy, and I recommend it to people of all ages—all ages. So, as soon as my nephews could talk, they were doing that. That’s what they were doing. Kids touch themselves. Kids start to ask questions, and we teach them the language for their bodies….

Later in the piece, Lorenz quotes someone named Tyler Wrynn, a former English teacher in Oklahoma who resigned after one of his videos was posted on Libs of TikTok. Lorenz said that Wrynn had posted “a video telling LGBTQ kids shunned by their parents that Wrynn was ‘proud of them’ and loved them.”

Here is what Wrynn actually said:

If your parents don’t love and accept you for who you are this Christmas, f–k them. I’m your parents now, and I’m proud of you. So drink some water. I love you. Bye.

Lorenz doesn’t mention that the woman in the first video promoted Onanism to toddlers, nor does she mention that the teacher cursed out students’ parents. Why?

Because the contents are indefensible. And beyond the handful of paragraphs Lorenz spends doxing the account operator, the thrust of Lorenz’s argument is laundered through one of the activists whom she quotes, who says that Libs of TikTok hinders “teachers’ ability to feel safe in their classrooms.”

Setting aside the ridiculous definition of “safety” operative in that quote, who, really, most needs to feel “safe in their classrooms”? Grown adults who want to use children to validate their own insecurities? Or children? To ask is to answer.

about the author

John Hirschauer is assistant editor of The American Conservative. He was previously a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at National Review and a staff writer at RealClear.

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