Chaya Raichik's Tucker Carlson slot may inspire other anons to go public
After software developer Travis Brown and Washington Post writer Taylor Lorenz combined to reveal the identity of — or “doxx” — Libs of TikTok account owner Chaya Raichik in April 2022, Raichik, an Orthodox Jew who worked in real estate in Brooklyn, found herself at a career crossroads. The account, which contextualised various oddball TikTok clips in the service of assorted Right-wing talking points, and which had already been promoted by the likes of Glenn Greenwald and Joe Rogan, saw both its fame and infamy increase exponentially, gaining 200,000 followers on Twitter in the 24-hour period after Lorenz published her exposé.
Now Raichik has relinquished the final trappings of her anonymity, appearing earlier this week on the Fox News streaming show Tucker Carlson Today. There, Raichik, whose brand has continued to grow significantly since her doxxing, explained that she was now ready to enter the political arena “to expose the Left and how to fight it.” She proudly described how she had contributed to the firings of more than a dozen teachers and couched her efforts in the language of moral binaries: “The simplest answer is they’re just evil.”
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Setting aside the debatable rectitude of Raichik’s campaign, her decision to accept a public-facing role will undoubtedly deliver long-term benefit to her brand. She already has the ear of Ron DeSantis, who privately offered her shelter in his gubernatorial mansion after her doxxing, and her role as a Right-wing influencer will likely expand during the run-up to the 2024 presidential primaries. Prior to transitioning into her Libs of TikTok identity, Raichik had given credence to the idea that voter fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 presidential election, so it will be interesting to see which of the Republican heavyweights, if any, she chooses to back in 2024.
That she, or more specifically her account, should carry so much political heft, and that she has received support from the man tipped to be the country’s next president, is a sign of how America’s online Right is increasingly blurring with more established Republicanism. Where Raichik’s identity was revealed by the Washington Post, some of these influential internet figures have willingly abandoned their prior anonymity in order to crack the mainstream.
Curtis Yarvin, who blogged for years as “Mencius Moldbug,” began writing under his own name on his Gray Mirror Substack page and has since made the rounds of various political podcasts, even appearing on Tucker Carlson Today. He has escaped the fringes of American political discourse, despite once observing that U.S. entitlement programs “applied to populations with recent hunter-gatherer ancestry and no great reputation for sturdy moral fiber” have resulted in “absolute garbage”. The various blurred-face Right-wing anons who populate Carlson’s End of Men special may one day follow suit.
In any case, Raichik is probably the best-positioned of all these anonymous figures to operate in the sunlight. She was doxxed in a public and humiliating way, by a reporter as disliked on the Right as Raichik is on the Left, so will no doubt be embraced by a wider Republican audience. The transgressive limits of the Libs of TikTok account have already been reached: her targets are commonly invoked issues related to pedophilic grooming and transgender activism, not comprehensively debunked claims about whether white and black people are different species. Indeed, Raichik’s favoured talking points are now at the centre of the red-blue battleground.
Raichik can perhaps be accused of “stochastic terrorism” whenever a marginalised group is targeted by an individual allegedly incited to violence by her “vague language that allows [her] to deny responsibility for the act”. Yet much of what she posts is indistinguishable from content already being produced by Fox News presenters or mainstream Right-wing Republican politicians. With her large platform and mastery of social media, she will remain a fixture of America’s conservative media landscape for some time to come. Not only that, her example means that, in the coming years, other Right-wing posters will be on the frontline alongside her.