For more than a year, the Washington Post all but ignored the explosive story of the president’s son foolishly leaving his laptop, stuffed with questionable images and information, in a Delaware repair shop. But don’t worry, the Post has finally found a scandal it can sink its Watergate-sharpened teeth into — the existence of an online phenomenon poking fun at the revival called Libs of TikTok.
Yes, who cares about Hunter Biden’s laptop — and other appropriate stories — when there’s an anti-PC Twitter account to rant and rage against. If you haven’t heard of Libs of TikTok, you need to rectify that. It’s a brilliant social media account that finds the craziest bat videos on TikTok and puts them on Twitter and Instagram for us adults to cringe at. You have no idea how far you have traveled on the Madness Awakening Path until you complete this account.
It’s like a virtual Bedlam. We were recently treated to the sight of a hyper-awakened pastor explaining that God is queer, non-binary, and autistic. And a young woman with green hair saying she refuses to keep the oath of allegiance because she is a socialist witch. And a preschool teacher – also with green hair! – bragging about telling her students that she’s a non-binary witch. There are plenty of witches on TikTok — and in schools, it seems.
Libs of TikTok also features “trouples” who raise their children neutrally, men who identify as women complaining of menstrual pain, and a trans-species activist who identifies as a werewolf. Then there are the pronouns. So many pronouns. My personal favorite is the serious if slightly dark TikToker whose pronouns are “death/death/death itself”. So you’d say, “It’s Death’s jacket” and “Death went to the ball alone.” Merry bunch, these turbo-awakened loons.
The most alarming thing is narcissism. Obsessive self-esteem seems to be all the rage in young online cults. In videos highlighted by TikTok’s Libs, people talk endlessly about themselves and their neurodivergence, their sexual inclinations, their gender orientation. And they bark at the faceless audience licking their videos, warning them to never use the wrong pronouns, or question “my identification as a gender-deminonbinary person,” or step out of their own cultural lane. I just felt sad to see a young woman (blue hair, blue eyebrows) wondering if her use of black music in her TikTok videos is an example of “digital blackface.”
The biggest talking point was the teachers featured on Libs of TikTok. There seem to be quite a few teachers in the United States who consider it their job to infuse the next generation with woke nonsense and gender ideology. A teacher says she asked her students to pledge allegiance to the Pride Flag rather than the Stars and Stripes. Another coos about her young proteges correcting anyone who refers to her as a woman and saying, “No, she’s enby!” (It’s not binary.) Another – turquoise hair – describes himself as a “queer teacher” and says he worries about how heterosexuality is “pushed onto our children”.
You don’t have to be an old don with gray hair and leather elbows to worry about pink-haired 23-year-old teachers telling kids gender is fluid and witches are real (and cool) . Libs of TikTok has done a really good job of highlighting the consequences of today’s craziest pseudo-left ideologies. And as a result, it has become incredibly popular. Republican politicians and mainstream media like, share and discuss its content.
So now, naturally, there’s a backlash. And The Washington Post is leading the charge, whipping people across Twitter to damn Libs of TikTok as “problematic,” the 21st century word for heretical. The Post published a lengthy article on Libs of TikTok, giving personal information about the woman who founded it and accusing her of “spreading anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment”. He paints Libs of TikTok as a crazy right-wing hate machine.
Of course, the Post is well within its rights to write about and condemn TikTok’s Libs. And Libs of TikTok isn’t perfect, of course. I don’t like how he sometimes veers into trying to get crazy woke teachers fired (schools should decide themselves who they employ) and the very fact that he uses the word “Lib”. TikTok’s quirky, speech-watching, overly-drilled promoters of regressive trash are, by no definition, “liberal.”
But what interests me is the question of why Libs of TikTok has rattled sections of the media establishment and Twitterati so much. To me, that seems pretty clear – that’s because this narrative has brought to light, and harshly so, the highly narcissistic and deeply destructive ideologies young people are exposed to every day.
TikTok is a game for young people. It has around one billion users, and 43% of them are between 18 and 24 years old. Thirty-two percent are between 25 and 34 years old. I’m sure my experience is typical of my age group – I’ve never peeked into TikTok (except for the videos I see on TikTok’s Libs) and yet my nieces and nephews are obsessed with it . It’s important – right? – that young people encounter wacky information about gender, sex, race and mores every time they go online.
This is what infuriates many so-called liberals about TikTok’s Libs. This story brings to light the kind of things that we ordinary adults, us old squares, are not supposed to see. In other words, the belief systems that are imposed on the next generation; blockages inflicted on young people; the fears and confusions that identity politics has instilled in the under-18s. All of this is supposed to happen out of sight, in classroom discussions that parents are told not to get too worked up about, in popular culture that alumni don’t watch, and in online areas like TikTok. where young adults are free to indoctrinate young users in the ways and beliefs of gender fluidity, pronoun usage, racial accuracy and everything in between.
The biggest sin of Libs of TikTok is that it opened the doors to these new political cults and allowed rational outsiders to look inside, to see how far things had gone. There are some who would rather keep the woke indoctrination of young people, so mindlessly facilitated by Silicon Valley, shielded from outside concern and criticism. They are the ones who are wrong, not the Libs of TikTok.
Brendan O’Neill is senior political editor for Spike and host of the Spike podcast “The Brendan O’Neill Show”. Find him on Instagram: @burntoakboy
New York Post