The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged law enforcement investigations to investigate prominent conservatives such as the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik and Chris Rufo, arguing that they are extremists and “online amplifiers of LGBTQ+ hate,” according to an email unearthed by the Heritage Foundation.
The ADL — an organization that bills itself as “the leading anti-hate organization in the world” — has long advised big tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter on content moderation standards. The far-left organization lists phrases such as “whiie lives matter” and “it’s OK to be white,” as well as concerns over racially motivated murders in South Africa as “white supremacy.”
While initially formed to combat antisemitism, the group has increasingly moved towards targeting domestic “extremism” in recent years. This includes pushback on transgenderism and other leftist ideologies that have become prevalent in education and business, with the ADL arguing that objections to such ideologies is “dangerous and “false,” adding that this content inspires “real-world extremist activities, threats, and even violence.”
As part of a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project uncovered a February 2023 email focusing on “the extremist landscape” according to the ADL. The email was sent to Tyler Phelan, an intelligence analyst at the “unified counterterrorism” Washington State Fusion center, from the ADL’s “law enforcement” address.
Titled; “White Supremacist Fight Clubs, Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate,” the email lays out the current “extremism landscape” according to the group, which includes threats from Islamic extremist groups, an alleged rise in “white supremacist” violence, and “online amplifiers of LGBTQ+ Hate” promoting “false narratives, escalating harassment of LGBTQ+ individuals.”
The section concerning “online amplifiers of LGBTQ+” hate describes backlash to drag shows for children and “baseless claims of ‘child grooming’ by LGBTQ+ people” that is amplified by online actors. According to the ADL, such content further endangered and isolated an already at-risk community,” noting that “these accusations and stances have also been adopted by right-wing media personalities and disseminated on mainstream platforms.”
“The growing online anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry puts LGBTQ+ individuals at greater risk of physical violence and harassment,” the email states. It also linked to a blog post describing the work of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, which it bills as “the nation’s foremost nongovernmental authority on extremism.”
According to a report from the Daily Signal — the Heritage Foundation’s news outlet — the email “bears remarkable similarities in both wording and structure to the ADL’s blog post on Online Amplifiers of Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism.'”
The post specifically names Libs OF TikTok’s Chaya Raichik, the Gays Against Groomers social media account, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Christopher Rufo and Matt Walsh as “amplifiers” of “hate.”
According to the post, the ADL believes these organizations and individuals should be targeted by law enforcement. “ADL is advocating for government partners to strengthen laws against perpetrators of online hate, as well as consulting with law enforcement partners to act on online hate speech that incites violence and/or credible threats,” the blog post reads. “ADL will continue to develop community partnerships with LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations such as GLAAD, in efforts to counter hate speech with positive speech.”
The blog post was written in conjunction with the pro-LGBT organization GLAAD and seeks to “counter anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism and Hate.” The collaboration explicitly aims to “alert law enforcement and community organizations to threats targeting LGBTQ+ individuals and institutions.”
“You can draw a direct line from anti-LGBTQ content and accounts on social media to real world violence: from extremists showing up at drag shows to vandalism at LGBTQ community centers to bomb threats being called into children’s hospitals that care for transgender youth,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in the November 2022 press release announcing the collaboration with the ADL.
The ADL has not yet responded to the Daily Signal’s request for comment.