This past weekend, Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about the #DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, which takes cues from far-right and anti-feminist online communities. In her article, Peggy was kind enough to reference (and quote from) my new publication with Amy Chapman in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association, which presents the (partial) results of a qualitative analysis of over 1,400 DezNat tweets from 2019.
I am very happy to announce that a paper I wrote with Amy Chapman is finally published and available open access in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association (I have also archived a PDF of the article on my website, available at this link). Amy and I began this project in the spring/summer of 2019, so it’s a relief to finally see our first paper in print.
In short, the paper is a descriptive look at tweets using the #DezNat hashtag; DezNat, short for either Deseret Nation or Deseret Nationalism (depending on who you ask) is a movement of arch-conservative Mormons on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.
This morning, we got copyedits back on our first DezNat piece, so I’ve been going through them. I appreciate having a copyeditor who’s better at mechanics and style than I am, but since I consider myself a pretty good writer, it’s also pretty humbling.
Remembering the time some trollish critics of research I’m doing with a colleague grabbed the audio from a YouTube video of our conference presentation and remixed it into a song they posted to SoundCloud. It’s supposed to be mocking, but I find it funny.
Amy Chapman and I currently have an in-press paper on the far-right inspired DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, and we’ve also been at work on a second paper covering all our analysis we couldn’t fit in the first paper. In particular, we’re interested in how the DezNat movement conceptualizes (and claims) religious authority. I spent time this morning getting back into the flow of this paper and reading up on Weber, whose tripartite model of authority ought to be helpful here.
For over three years now, I’ve been getting increasingly involved with research projects that involve the online far right in one way or another. One of the most interesting ways that I’ve developed as a researcher during this time is having to think through in greater detail my commitments to research ethics. Because my research typically focuses on public social media data, I am rarely required to obtain informed consent from those whom I study.
I’m pleased to share that a study I contributed to—Gayservatives on Gab: LGBTQ+ Communities and Far Right Social Media—is now available (open-access!) through the Social Media + Society journal. Dr. Evan Brody is the lead author on the study, and we were lucky enough to have support from PhD student Mehroz Sajjad. Here’s the abstract for the study:
In the United States, LGBTQ+ individuals are often imagined as inherently politically progressive, but this assumption overlooks the experiences of self-identified LGBTQ+ conservatives.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2022 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion to present research with Amy Chapman on how the reactionary DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter conceptualizes and claims—but ultimately problematizes—religious authority in the online sphere. We presented in one of the sessions sponsored by the Mormon Social Science Association and were lucky enough to have some good conversations and receive some helpful feedback.
Doing a research presentation at a conference today. The slides are essentially a fancy HTML doc (thanks to remarkjs), and I’m proud that I figured out how to get Font Awesome SVGs to display in-line with text.
In my second-to-last year of grad school, I was asked to give a research talk as part of my program’s prospective student day. My talk was representing the “educational technology” part of the program, and the incomparable Kristy Robinson gave a talk reresenting the “educational psychology” part (to this day, when I’m struggling with a bout of imposter syndrome, I still remind myself that my grad program let me present alongside someone of Kristy’s caliber, so I must have something going for me).
I’m not going to link to it, but I am fascinated by a recent post on the Gab blog where Andrew Torba announced some new features to help Gab users push back against research on the platform. Not only do I have two or three ongoing projects using Gab data (one is in the very, very early stages and—ironically—uses Gab blog posts), but some of what Torba wrote also aligned with some of the (fortunately mild) trolling my co-author, Amy Chapman, and I have experienced because of my work on the far-right-influenced DezNat hashtag in Mormon Twitter.
Thanks to a recommendation from BoingBoing, I just finished reading a Business Insider article describing a recent video in which Marjorie Taylor Greene:
predicted that identifying as heterosexual will be a thing of the past within a period of less than 200 years thanks to LGBTQ-inclusive sex educators, who she called “trans terrorists.”
More specifically, Greene was quoted as saying that heterosexual extinction would come about “probably in about four or five generations.
I think you can be glad a villain got unmasked but uneasy that Batman’s the one who did it.