Ryan Walters Appointee Chaya Raichik, Creator of “LibsOfTikTok” Hate Account, Added to Southern Poverty Law Center’s List of Hate Extremists

by Laurel Powell

Raichik joins “Extremist Files” list alongside figures like David Duke & organizations like the “Proud Boys”

WASHINGTON — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has added Ryan Walters appointee Chaya Raichik - the former Brooklyn real estate agent who created the anti-LGBTQ+ hate account “LibsOfTikTok” - to its “Extremist Files,” which profiles both individual extremists and extremist movements.. SPLC announced her addition to the list citing how Raichik’s “disinfo campaigns are associated w/ real world violence and bomb threats. Her false claims help to mobilize white supremacists.” Raichik is joined on the list by white nationalist figures like David Duke and the Proud Boys.

Ryan Walters, Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, appointed Raichik to a state agency advisory committee (The Library Media Review committee) overseeing curriculum censorship in January of this year. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), as part of its work to remove Ryan Walters from office, joined with 350+ advocacy organizations and individuals to call for his immediate removal from office, citing, among other scandals, his appointment of Raichik to an advisory position.

In August 2023, after an elementary school librarian near Tulsa, OK made a TikTok post about how she taught kids to “love books and be kind,” Raichik reposted the video to include the librarian’s name and school. The day after she reposted the video, the school received two separate bomb threats. Threats followed for five days after.

Ryan Walters has appointed someone to a statewide committee that one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations considers so dangerous, they have added her to the same list as David Duke and the Proud Boys. Yet instead of hiding his head in shame, Walters continues to align himself with Chaya Raichik’s brand of bigotry and disinformation. This is beyond disqualifying. Ryan Walters is nothing more than a corrupt and unhinged political opportunist who is more concerned with making headlines than doing the hard work to build safe and inclusive schools for the students who depend on him and his department. We won’t tolerate his reckless actions that not only bring disgrace on Oklahoma schools, but also jeopardize the well being of Oklahoma students.

Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign

When extremists use online spaces that target LGBTQ+ people it is dangerous and deserves critique and pushback. Activities like those of Raichik can create an environment that normalizes violence against LGBTQ+ people and provides cover to politicians who are taking away LGBTQ+ rights.

R.G. Cravens, Senior Research Analyst at SPLC's Intelligence Project

In the report Online Harassment, Offline Violence: Unchecked Harassment of Gender-Affirming Care Providers and Children’s Hospitals on Social Media, and its Offline Violent Consequences, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation detailed how accounts like LibsOfTikTok are part of highly-organized attack campaigns designed to target hospitals and medical providers who offer gender-affirming care for transgender, non-binary and questioning youth. These accounts spread falsehoods about gender-affirming care and use violent rhetoric to encourage targeted attacks on providers, including harassing phone calls, death threats and bomb threats to hospitals. Since the report was first published, Raichik has since expanded her efforts to target schools, including students. As we saw last month with the death of 16-year old nonbinary Choctaw student Nex Benedict, this harassment has harrowing effects beyond the screen, contributing to a culture of bullying & harassment that Nex experienced in the year leading to their death.

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