Out with Alex Jones-style conspiracy theorizing. In with Libs of TikTok.

A tin foil hat army.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Many have critiqued the decision by Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz to reveal the identity of the woman behind Libs of TikTok, a popular right-wing (and previously anonymous) Twitter account which amplifies and condemns videos progressives have posted of themselves on social media. Recently, many of those videos are created by preschool and elementary school teachers touting DIY curricula and classroom policies on sexual orientation and gender identity. But here's a critique most have missed: The person behind Libs of TikTok doesn't matter much, not because the account isn't influential (it is, including with lawmakers), but because conspiracism is communal now.

It wasn't always. We used to think of conspiracy theorizing as the province of the X-Files lone weirdo doing a string map on the wall — collecting classified government documents, talking to secretive sources in parking garages, piecing together an airtight (or, as far as everyone else is concerned, outlandish and silly) case against the alleged conspirators.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.