- Two years ago, Claira Janover lost a job offer at Deloitte after a TikTok went viral.
- Janover told Insiders that far-right Trump supporters berated and harassed her over an “All Lives Matter” analogy.
- While Janover said she’s not happy about the experience, it has given her new opportunities and perspectives.
When Claira Janover shared a TikTok about All Live Matters disputes with her 250,000+ followers, she didn’t expect the short video to blow up her world.
Janover, 24, was brought up to be open minded, particularly on issues of social justice and equality. But after being doped online and losing a job offer, Janover said she was “completely averse to the idea of ever being a public figure online again.”
“I grew up with a very politically active mother. She was a union organizer, a public high school history teacher who taught African American Studies and women’s and gender studies,” Janover told Insider. “I grew up voting and going to community meetings. And I had protested with my mom when I was young and then everyone in high school and college, I attended protests.”
In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests, Janover shot a TikTok video with comments proclaiming “All Lives Matter,” a term created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The video did not initially receive a predominantly negative response.
Far-right political activist Jack Posobiec tweeted a response to a separate TikTok video in which Janover reenacted a conversation with a hypothetical Trump supporter. In the video, she said Trump voters are “implicitly homophobic, transphobic and xenophobic,” Insider previously reported.
“Leftists are now having imaginary conversations with themselves instead of speaking to actual Trump supporters,” Posobiec said in the tweet with a link to the clip.
Janover said Posobiec’s tweet took people to her TikTok and to another “All Lives Matter” video she made about a month before someone was stabbed.
“The next person who has the sheer guts — the sheer Caucasianness — to say ‘All Lives Matter,’ I’ll stab you,” Janover said in the video. “I’m going to stab you. And while you’re bleeding out, I’m going to show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut is important too,'” Janover joked in the video.
Janover told Insiders that she was being sent death and rape threats. Online users began tagging their employers and demanding their termination. Some thought Janover’s message threatened violence and called for her to be held accountable, she said.
Janover said her TikTok video about “All Lives Matter” was meant to be satirical and exaggerated and never intended to encourage violence.
“I got tens of thousands of really hateful messages that were just really grotesque. And then they turned into things like death threats and rape threats,” she said.
After her address was shared online, Janover said she used a pseudonym to safely move to another apartment building.
The online user tagged her employers in posts calling for her to be fired
At the time, she was a student at Harvard University and had a job offer at Deloitte in mind. Janover told Insider that when she was dealing with a whirlwind of online interactions, she sent a “very long, very explicit email” to the company to explain what was happening online.
Janover said she was staying with a friend’s family at the time, and as online harassment increased, more and more people started tagging Deloitte in posts. Her friend’s parents advised her to “move on”.
“I said, ‘I’m sorry if that name gets associated with you because of my LinkedIn profile, which also went viral,'” she said. “And I wanted to assure you that I am not inciting any violence.”
Janover said she sent an email to Deloitte’s human resources department with pictures of the death threats she received, threatening messages sent to her late mother’s Facebook account and Nazi propaganda memes spread about her became. Janover said the threats and comments she received were also related to her identity as an Asian American woman.
“Those messages weren’t just – ‘I hate you. I’m going to murder you and your family’, which was most of the time – but often it went into a deep description of other ways they would attack me – sexual violence and like rape and gangbang. So that was something I know, none of those messages would have been sent to a straight man,” she said.
Deloitte responded to her email by asking to join a Zoom call, during which she was told that the company “cannot hire anyone who advocates or encourages violence in any form, manner or form, even if they do.” it is satire”.
Despite attempts to clarify her comments and the backlash, the job offer was withdrawn. The call, she said, lasted less than a minute.
She moved on and stepped back from social media
Janover, who grew up with a single mother who died of cancer in 2019 and an only child, said she found the strength to keep going despite the threats because she had no one to worry about. However, she noted that she was being isolated as some friends kept their distance from her over safety concerns.
Two years later, Janover says she feels more secure. She has since graduated from Harvard and worked for President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.
“It was a very crazy hurricane season. And then I worked full-time with the Biden administration for his 2020 campaign in California. So I was stationed with the California Dems and then worked with Gen Z for Change, which is now his own really incredible organization,” she said.
Despite the personal attacks she faced, Janover said she was able to contribute to the work she cared about. But when her TikTok account was hacked in December 2020, she never tried to open it again.
“I was so excited to stop being a content creator,” Janover said.
Instead, she spent her downtime in the Wyoming countryside with her extended family. Time away and in nature influenced the courses she took in the spring of 2021 as she graduated from Harvard. Janover said she eventually applied for and took up travel grants for the remainder of 2021.
“I think that gave me space to step back, a step that I don’t think I would have had or really conceived of as a possibility or a reality if I hadn’t had that ability to break down and rebuild,” Janover said.