(TargetLiberty.org) – A Washington Post reporter who slammed online bullies for harassing her is now being labeled a hypocrite. A tearful Taylor Lorenz initially told MSNBC reporters relentless trolls drove her to thoughts of suicide in a video interview that has since been deleted from official sources, but remains up on Rumble. Earlier this week, social media users tracked down proof Lorenz herself once bullied and doxxed the user behind the Twitter account @LibsOfTiktok.
Lorenz’s Contradictory Claims
The video of Lorenz’s controversial interview seems sincere, at least at first glance. The wide-eyed young woman minces few words while explaining how her experiences with online harassment left her suffering. “I had severe PTSD from this,” she explains. “It was so isolating.”
A bar just below the video reads out statistics: 1 in 3 women under age 35 experiences online harassment at some point. It seems to support the young woman’s emotional claims.
The only problem? Lorenz also recently authored a now-famous hit piece targeting @Libsoftiktok the Washington Post published on April 19. The controversial article details the journalist’s gripes with the anonymous account, revealing the identity of the individual who spearheaded it and sharing intimate details about her life.
.@LibsofTikTok has become a powerful cross-platform social media influencer, spreading anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and fueling the right wing media's outrage machine.
I wrote abt the account, the woman behind it, and why it matters 🧵https://t.co/p5dNT7Li1B
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) April 19, 2022
Lorenz writes real estate salesperson Chaya Raichik got her start on Twitter under the handle @shaya69830552 back in 2020. She then recounts Raichik’s evolution across several other accounts and accuses her of everything from spreading COVID disinformation to being actively involved in the January 6 capitol riots.
Raichik didn’t create the Libs of TikTok handle until April of 2021. It managed to catch podcast host Joe Rogan’s attention and quickly became famous from there.
Later in the article, Lorenz accuses Libs of TikTok of everything from directly impacting legislation to serving as a national mouthpiece for right-wing politics. She also claims the account spreads COVID misinformation, conspiracies, and falsehoods about election fraud.
We’ve chosen not to share many of the details within Lorenz’s report out of respect for Raichik, who has repeatedly attempted to keep her identity and private life anonymous. Yet the journalist apparently had no such qualms. She stalked Raichik, tracking down her real name and cell phone number via WHOIS information attached to the domain LibsofTikTok.us.
But she didn’t stop there. Lorenz allegedly included a direct link to Raichik’s real estate license within the WaPo article, which contained multiple examples of personally-identifying data, including at least one private address. The Washington Post later edited it out.
Lorenz even apparently paid a visit to one of Raichik’s relatives, according to this incendiary photo shared by Libs of TikTok account.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) April 19, 2022
A comment attached to the post seems to suggest Lorenz visited more than one of Raichik’s relatives that day. Close to 100,000 users liked the post; some 20,000 shared it.
The backlash to Lorenz’s report came swiftly. Commenters gave her absolutely no quarter for penning the essay or violating Raichik’s relatives’ privacy. Many accused her of hypocrisy; others called for her to be held responsible for ethical violations.
Even Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Glen Greenwald spoke out. He pointed out how ironic it was for Lorenz’s supporters to cheer her on after defending her only weeks ago.
The same people who – just 2 weeks ago – were insisting that criticizing Taylor Lorenz is wrong because it generates "harassment" toward her are now cheering as she shows up at the homes of the relatives of Twitter users to dox them.
Journalists at the top of the caste order.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 19, 2022
Yet, Lorenz, for her part, explains the entire situation away, claiming she was only engaging in investigative journalism. In yet another tweet, the reporter says she was only trying to make sure she had the right woman. But does it really justify her actions?
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