Boston Children’s Hospital warns employees over far-right online harassment campaign

Boston Children’s Hospital has warned employees about mounting threats and is coordinating with law enforcement after far-right activists on social media began targeting the hospital with false claims about its treatment of young transgender people.

It’s the most recent in a series of attempts to target hospitals for their work with trans youth, adding to an ongoing wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment that has hit libraries, schools and even a trans-inclusive Los Angeles spa.

The public relations office of Boston Children’s Hospital sent an email to employees with guidance on how to respond to harassment and threats earlier this week, citing an “increase of threatening and aggressive” phone calls and emails sent to the hospital commenting on treatment of transgender patients.” The email was confirmed to NBC News by a current employee. 

Boston Children’s Hospital first became the target of activists in recent weeks, when well-followed social media accounts such as LibsofTikTok, which has often promoted “groomer” discourse that falsely linked LGBTQ teachers and parents to pedophilia, began to make a variety of false claims. One allegation said that the hospital offered gender-affirming hysterectomies to children under 18 years old. 

Conservative influencers with millions of followers pushed similar false talking points and fanned the flames further. David J Harris, a podcaster and supplement seller, and single-issue activists including Chris Elston, who goes by “Billboard Chris” for the anti-trans statements he wears on sandwich boards, are among the right-wing social media stars  who have spread the allegations online.  

Last week, fact-checking organizations debunked the claims from right-wing accounts, but many of the same accounts continued to spread the false allegations this week. 

“In response to commentary last week critical of our Gender Multispecialty Service (GeMS) Program, Boston Children’s Hospital has been the target of a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails including threats of violence toward our clinicians and staff,” Boston Children’s Hospital said in an emailed statement. “We are deeply concerned by these attacks on our clinicians and staff fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for our transgender community.”

“Boston Children’s is proud to be home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States,” the statement added.

Videos from the YouTube account of Boston Children’s Hospital in which several physicians discuss services provided to trans patients were shared by the accounts to suggest the Center for Gender Surgery was performing genital surgeries on children. The videos, which have since been removed from the hospital’s channel, included one titled, “What Does It Mean To Be Transgender?” and did not suggest such surgeries were provided to minors. 

Boston Children’s Hospital warns employees over far-right online harassment campaign

GOP lawmakers ramp up attacks against LGBTQ+ Americans as the U.S. House votes to protect marriage equality

July 25, 202202:48

Boston Children’s Hospital houses the Gender Multispecialty Service, the nation’s first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program, which has treated more than 1,000 families, according to its website. Despite the separate Center for Gender Surgery being within Boston Childrens’ Hospital, treatment is only provided to “eligible adolescents and young adults,” according to the center’s website. “All genital surgeries are only performed on patients age 18 and older,” the site reads. 

A representative for Twitter said they were looking into the harassment campaign. 

Boston Children’s Hospital said in its statement that the online attention “was based on the incorrect statement that Boston Children’s performs genital surgeries on minors in connection with transgender care. For hysterectomies and other genital surgeries performed as part of gender-affirming care, Boston Children’s requires a patient to be capable of consenting for themselves. Age 18 is used to reflect the standard age of majority for medical decision-making. Boston Children’s does not perform genital surgeries as part of gender-affirming care on a patient under the age of 18.”

Nevertheless, the posts demonizing Boston Children’s Hospital quickly spread through the far-right media ecosystem, promoted by right-wing media personalities including The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh and conservative websites like The Post Millennial and The Daily Caller. 

Anti-trans activists also targeted the individual doctors who appeared in the YouTube videos from Boston Children’s Hospital, leaving vulgar and harassing comments on their social media accounts and flooding their online pages with negative reviews. Some hospital staff have since made their social media profiles private.

This isn’t the first time that far-right activists have targeted doctors and medical institutions — or even Boston Children’s Hospital. 

Lee Leveille, co-director of Health Liberation Now, a trans rights advocacy group that investigates the effects of policy on trans health, said the hospital was also a target in May 2021 for providing gender-affirming care amid a similar wave of targeted harassment on medical facilities. 

“The original organized network that jump started the clinic protests has been slowing down a bit and is more decentralized,” Leveille said over email. “Local pockets will still operate here and there, but they’re less connected to a central organized push than the original ones. Now we’re seeing new faces rallying the cause — including the likes of Matt Walsh and Libs of TikTok.”

In June, Chaya Raichik, the Brooklyn real estate agent behind the Twitter account LibsofTikTok tweeted about a children’s hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, for hosting an informational booth at a Pride event. Earlier this month, Raichik and right-wing activist Christopher Rufo targeted a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh for its informational video about puberty blockers. The tweets directed waves of harassment to the hospitals’ larger accounts. 

Under a tweet from the Pittsburgh hospital about children with cancer, commenters’ replies included, “Pedophiles,” and “We will destroy you.” 

The targeting of children’s hospitals is just the most recent in a spate of online abuse aimed at institutions that promote pro-LGBT ideas and events. 

“They’ve received just an absolute torrent of abuse, oftentimes, with real, in-person, consequences,” said Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic and LGBTQ+ advocate. 

Caraballo cited recent anti-LGBT arson attacks in Baltimore and Brooklyn, widespread threats against organizers of Pride events and Drag Queen Story Hours, and instances where far-right hate groups showed up to protest and were arrested for incitement of violence. 

“We’ve already had months and months of this reinforcing propaganda, that LGBTQ people are groomers, that they’re pedophiles, that they are threats to children,” she said. “It’s very disturbing to see people justify attacking a children’s hospital because of their transphobia and their hatred of trans people.” 

Leveille and Ky Schevers, the other co-director of Health Liberation Now, said they feared violence could come next, targeting doctors, patients and medical facilities that provide gender-affirming care. 

Boston Children’s Hospital said it was working with law enforcement to ensure the safety of its staff.

“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based,” the hospital said in its statement. “We are working with law enforcement to protect our clinicians, staff, patients, families, and the broader Boston Children’s community and hold the offenders accountable. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect our people.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

A Rough Year for UC Berkeley Admissions

A Rough Year for UC Berkeley Admissions Seeking to expand enrollment amidst the pandemic and a lawsuit, it has been a rocky year for the University of California Berkeley. With ... Read more »

Another court mulls Biden vaccine mandate for U.S. contractors

NEW ORLEANS —  A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday became the latest to hear arguments on whether President Biden overstepped his authority with an order that federal contractors ... Read more »

FBI: We tracked who was printing secret documents to unmask ex-NSA suspect

FBI: We tracked who was printing secret documents to unmask ex-NSA suspect Infosec systems designer alleged to have chatted with undercover agent A 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) employee ... Read more »

NBA Stars Returning in Preseason After Missing All of 2021-22

NBA stars returning in preseason after missing 2021-22 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston The game was not the same without these stars. As the 2022 NBA preseason commences, some ... Read more »

Nick Saban Announces Monday Update On Quarterback Bryce Young

Bryce Young has shared additional information on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young this Monday afternoon. Young is dealing with “a little bit of a shoulder injury,” per Saban. The good news ... Read more »

The 10 best photo scanners in 2022

Take a look at our picks for the best photo scanners out there, including ones for home and work. There are also ones that fit into all sorts of budgets. ... Read more »

Apple Music Now Has 100 Million Songs

Apple Music has recorded another milestone. From roughly 30 million songs when Apple Music was launch in June 2015, the platform’s music had a significant expansion. Now, Apple Music has ... Read more »

Your Stories: Some Amazon customers aren't receiving their orders

Your Stories: Some Amazon customers aren’t receiving their orders PARISH, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Lori Horning does a lot of her shopping online, including orders from Amazon. “More and more since ... Read more »

Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner tackles streaker during Monday' game against 49ers

Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner hit-sticked a streaker that managed to get away from security during an on-field escapade. With under a minute before halftime, the fully-clothed streaker dodged security and ... Read more »

Arizona sees damage from tornado, dust storm on Monday

Wild weather in Arizona caused damage to homes and left nearly 100,000 people without power Monday. In northern Arizona, ten homes were damaged after a tornado ripped through a Coconino ... Read more »

Flooding, outages, confusion: Florida reels as Hurricane Ian death toll rises

Photograph: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images As Florida continues grappling with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the state’s death roll mounts and stories of tragedy and delay emerge. Over 81 people ... Read more »

Rapper Accused Of Crashing Into Pregnant Woman And Leaving The Scene

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 13: Tory Lanez performs on stage at Prudential Center on September 13, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images) A pregnant woman ... Read more »

Trump Defamation Lawsuit 'Doesn't Have Much Chance': Legal Expert

Audience members put their index finger up to symbolize America First while former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally on September 17, 2022, in Youngstown, Ohio. A ... Read more »

Chiefs fan turned down $23k payday only to get screwed by Rams

Chiefs fan turned down $23k payday only to get screwed by Rams A Chiefs fan had a chance to cash out a $10 parlay for $23,000 but risked it all ... Read more »

Quick Airport Security Tips

We have some quick airport security tips to help your travel in airports be more enjoyable today. We like to take advantage of some programs to get us through security ... Read more »

Neighbor Backed for Not Inviting 'Screaming' Girl To Bounce House Party

A man is being supported for his decision to not invite the little girl who lives next door to the bounce house party he threw for the kids in the ... Read more »

Nancy Pelosi Spills The Beans On How Democrats Can Keep Control Over House

The party of a new president historically doesn’t fare well during the midterm elections, and President Joe Biden’s low approval rating isn’t helping Democrats. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ... Read more »

‘We found a planet that shows us what the Earth will be like in five billion years’

Astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger. Lisa Kaltenegger is an Austrian astrophysicist who wants to be the first person to find life on a planet beyond our solar system. In 1995, when Michel ... Read more »

Video of 2-Month-Old Puppy Who Was Returned to Oregon Shelter Has Us Shaking Our Heads

Don’t people understand that puppies require patience? TikTok user @therainabaina, a volunteer at the Heartland Humane Society, shared one of the saddest videos we’ve seen in a while. So we’re ... Read more »

Air India Promises A Gourmet Experience With New Domestic Menu

Air India Promises A Gourmet Experience With New Domestic Menu Air India IATA/ICAO Code: AI/AIC Airline Type: Full Service Carrier Hub(s): Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport Year Founded: 1946 Alliance: ... Read more »

All Hilton Hotels in the US Will Have Peloton Bikes by Year End

There is good news for travelers in the US who are concerned about their regular fitness routines. Peloton exercise bikes will now be made available in all Hilton Hotels. The ... Read more »

Hulu Hikes Prices for Ad-Supported, Ad-Free Monthly Plans

Enjoying the streaming fix on Hulu is now more expensive, with the streaming platform hiking its ad-supported monthly subscription rates to $7.99 from $6.99 or $79.99 annually) and its ad-free ... Read more »

Animoca Brands and Coincheck strengthen strategic partnership collaboration

Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands Corporation Limited and Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange and non-fungible token marketplace Coincheck, Inc. have agreed to further strengthen their collaboration and promote a strategic ... Read more »

SEA's top ten e-commerce platforms web traffic rises 64 percent between Q3 2019 and Q2 2022

Web traffic for Southeast Asia (SEA)’s top 10 e-commerce platforms increased by a notable 64 percent between the third quarter of 2019 and second quarter of 2022, a report showed ... Read more »

Rams left reeling as regular-season slide against 49ers continues in loss

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —  From Super Bowl champions to super average. Mediocre. And trending perhaps toward … super bad? That’s where the Rams find themselves after a 24-9 loss to the ... Read more »

Lawyer claims LAPD officer was targeted for being a potential whistleblower

The attorney representing Los Angeles police officer Houston Tipping’s mother claims that the 32-year-old was targeted by other officers for being a potential whistleblower. Even though a coroner’s report ruled ... Read more »

In Ian's wake, Florida residents brave a slow wait for power

In Ian's wake, Florida residents brave a slow wait for power Nearly a week after Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and left carved a path of destruction that reached into ... Read more »

Samsung Electronics to triple advanced chip production by 2027, sees robust demand

ETtech Samsung began mass producing chips with 3-nanometre technology in June. The company was in talks with potential customers for 3-nanometre collaboration, including Qualcomm , Tesla and Advanced Micro Devices ... Read more »

Mysterious recruiter behind Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights reportedly identified

Mysterious recruiter behind Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights reportedly identified ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN ANTONIO — The mysterious woman who allegedly lured dozens of migrants on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flights to Martha’s ... Read more »

Column: Sean McVay’s once-formidable offense has transformed into a predictable mess

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —  The second-quarter play call was about as telling as any statistic, a quarterback keeper on second and three. Matthew Stafford moves about as swiftly as Bay Area ... Read more »

Talanoa Hufanga provides nightmare fuel for Rams with game-changing pick-six

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —  Yet another Hollywood remake — the San Francisco 49ers won again — but this time it was a different leading man who took down the Rams. Second-year ... Read more »

Darvin Ham and Lakers taking a more serious approach to preseason

No butterflies. No pregame photos on the court. No extra moments of reflection on the drive to the arena. Just work. “It’s game day,” Darvin Ham said before his first ... Read more »

Big Giveaways for Big Tex's Birthday at the State Fair of Texas

Link video: http://nbclim-download.edgesuite.net/Prod/NBCU_LM_VMS_-_KXAS/302/131/KXAS_Big_Tex_History_100322__148754.mp4 NBCUniversal, Inc. Big Tex is celebrating his 70th year at Fair Park this year and the State Fair of Texas is throwing him a birthday bash. They’re ... Read more »

Twitter Begins Rollout of Edit Button — Is It Available in the US?

Twitter’s edit button is not ready for everyone just yet. The popular social media app recently announced that its long-awaited and much-requested edit feature would not be coming to the ... Read more »

Ron DeSantis on the media politicizing Hurricane Ian: Floridians are 'really sick of the nonsense'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to comments from Vice President Kamala Harris and the politicization from the mainstream media over Hurricane Ian on “Hannity.” RON DESANTIS: I think she [Kamala ... Read more »

New TerraMaster NASs, the F2-223 and F4-223, add TRAID for SOHO and SMB users

TerraMaster’s new NASs, the F2-223 and F4-223, are two and four-bay storage arrays that include TerraMaster RAID (TRAID), and the latest TOS 5. Both are powered by an Intel Celeron ... Read more »

Texas: Woman convicted of killing 21-year-old mother-to-be and cutting baby from her womb

Prosecutors told the court that Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock was beaten in the head at least five times with such force that the blows compressed her skull. Read more »

Freight train kills pedestrian south of downtown L.A., officials say

A pedestrian was killed by a freight train south of downtown Los Angeles on Monday night. The crash was reported at 7:46 p.m. in the 2100 block of South Santa ... Read more »

Traoré says «Russia is a state like any other» amid speculation about Moscow’s role

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, leader of Friday’s coup d’état in Burkina Faso, said Monday that “Russia is a state like any other” in the face of speculation that Moscow was mainly ... Read more »

European Markets Head for Higher Open as Global Markets Rally

This is CNBC’s live blog covering European markets. European stocks are heading for a higher open on Tuesday, building on gains seen in yesterday’s trading session. The U.K.’s FTSE index ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network