In the wake of the Club Q shooting last year, our communities must remain informed about stochastic terrorism so that we can start following the smoke to the fire.
The wave of anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric online reached terrifying new heights in 2022 with the Club Q shooting.
The victims of the shooting spoke to members of congress shortly after the incident, linking the shooting to the rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric to come from Republican politicians.
This pattern has been consistent across many right-wing platforms – from politicians to pod-casters. Hatemongering is evolving.
One of the more recent anti-LGBTQIA+ pundits to rear their ugly heads is ‘Libs of TikTok’s’ Chaya Raichik.
Libs of TikTok has become renowned for its vehemently anti-LGBTQIA+ content, and has historically been accused of stochastic terrorism.
What is stochastic terrorism?
The term ‘stochastic’ refers to predicting that something could occur randomly, but not precisely.
In the context of terrorism, this means that one can effectively increase the likelihood of violence without being directly involved in carrying it out.
Chaya Raichik was first accused of this in September of last year, after targeting children’s hospitals for providing health facilities to transgender teens.
The attacks resulted in a flood of online harassment and, eventually, phoned-in bomb threats at two hospitals.
Raichik was accused of inciting the harrassment through stochastic terrorism, prompting her to change her bio on Twitter to ‘stochastic terrorist’.
Her involvement in spotlighting specific events which held drag queen story hours were also linked to the appearance of far-right wing extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.
After a series of gradually escalating instances of protesters disrupting these events, the Colorado Springs shooting inevitably occurred.
Raichik, mere hours after the shootings, was back to the regular schedule of directing the attention of her 1.5 million followers to other LGBTQIA+ spaces.
Chaya Raichik – no stranger to inciting violence
Her followers have previously defended her actions by claiming that she was simply reciting information from other news sources.
However, now the social-media pundit has resorted to explicitly divulging the locations of LGBTQIA+ events.
And the consequences are terrifying:
Not even two months after Club Q and Chaya Raichik is directing her followers to attack and harass a school in Aurora, Colorado solely for the crime of selling pride flags. pic.twitter.com/0EVBYzKCMa
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) January 15, 2023
But this comes as no surprise. After all, recent evidence suggests Raichik may have even been present for the Jan 6 riots.
Perhaps she has more experience with incited violence than her followers give her credit for?
Responsibility and accountability
Anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric does not exist in a black hole – it has real world consequences. This is becoming increasingly, disturbingly clear.
We can’t afford to dismiss the likes of Raichik as trolls or talking heads. They are active participants of this systematic violence.
Thus, is the responsibility of our community to ensure that we remain vigilant about these online conversations.
Because, before we know it, it could be too late.
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