Metro Weekly

Shopify Ignores Complaints About Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group

The online shopping site continues allowing Libs of TikTok to sell discriminatory merchandise despite repeated calls for it to halt.

Shopify told its employees not to engage with tweets demanding the site remove the anti-LGBTQ account Libs of TikTok, according to Business Insider.

The online shopping company also instructed employees not to discuss details of any store except with the store’s owner, Insider reported. Shopify has repeatedly ignored calls to stop selling merchandise from Libs of TikTok. 

The Libs of TikTok is a social media account on multiple platforms, run by Chaya Raichik. On Twitter, Raichik has 1.6 million followers. She frequently calls attention to LGBTQ-related content, allowing her followers to find and harass her targets. Them, an LGBTQ-focused digital news site, called the account an anti-LBGTQ hate machine.

The Libs of TikTok account on Shopify sells three items, all of which have the slogan “Stop Grooming Our Kids” printed on them.

The Human Rights Campaign calls the word “groomer” an anti-LGBTQ slur. HRC has previously asked social media companies to halt the spread of extremist misinformation — including the use of the false, discriminatory narrative that LGBTQ people sexually “groom” younger kids.

Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy does prohibit content that discriminates on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender.

“You may not use the Services to promote or condone hate or violence against people based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, veteran status or other forms of discriminatory intolerance,” the policy reads. “You may not use the Services to promote or support organizations, platforms or people that: (i) promote or condone such hate; or (ii) threaten or condone violence to further a cause.”

A Shopify spokesperson told Insider that Libs of TikTok’s merchandise does not currently violate the acceptable use policy. One anonymous employee of Shopify said in Insider that Libs of TikTok is “using clever slogans displaying a message that can pass ambiguously.”

Libs of TikTok has a history of inciting anti-LGBTQ harassment and threats of violence, though Raichik does not typically make an explicit call for followers to take action.

After Libs of TikTok posted about hospitals that offer gender-affirming care to trans children, some sent threats of violence to children’s hospitals throughout the country. Proud Boys members also disrupted a drag queen story hour at a California library. Investigators believe Raichik’s posts led the Proud Boys there, according to The Washington Post.

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