doxxing or journalism?
Conservatives accused journalist Taylor Lorenz of "harassment" and "doxxing" — revealing someone's identity online with malicious intent — after her article revealing the identity of the woman behind the popular "Libs of TikTok" social media account was published in The Washington Post on Tuesday.
Libs of TikTok, a right-wing Twitter account created in April 2021, shares content in which users of the popular video app discuss topics like gender identity. According to Lorenz, the account's posts often include "incendiary framing designed to generate outrage," and several teachers have reportedly been fired after being featured on the account. Libs of TikTok has over 674,000 followers and has been amplified by prominent figures like Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson.
When Lorenz revealed that the woman behind the account was a former real estate investor named Chaya Raichik, conservatives responded by accusing Lorenz of harassing Raichik and her family, though the accusations appear to simply refer to standard reporting practices.
Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance wrote that Lorenz's article is "evidence that the purpose of the corporate media is industrial scale harassment."
Others accused Lorenz of hypocrisy. Journalist Avi Yemini tweeted that just a few weeks ago, Lorenz was a "crying victim of 'harrassment'" but has now "tracked down and harassed" Raichik's family members. Lorenz has been attacked by prominent figures like Carlson.
Earlier this month, Lorenz said on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to online harassment. "You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life," she said.
Lorenz was not without defenders, though. Podcast host Alex Goldman tweeted that "[r]eporting the name of someone who already has a public profile and also uses a twitter account to sic hordes of trolls on other people is not doxing. It's reporting." Lorenz retweeted his post.