research on anti-feminist online Mormonism referenced in Salt Lake Tribune column

- kudos:

I enjoy reading Natalie Brown’s columns for the Salt Lake Tribune, so it was a real honor that she referenced research that Amy Chapman and I did on the “DezNat” Twitter movement in last Saturday’s installment. In particular, Brown referenced a comment I made to the Tribune last summer that our findings highlighted anti-feminist influences on the DezNat movement (which has typically been criticized for its far right influences) and that while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

follow up on research ethics implications of Twitter's 'general amnesty'

- kudos:

This is just a few words to say that this post that I wrote back in December 2022 has suddenly become relevant. In short, some of my recent work has been on an online Mormon community that has some overlaps with the far-right. In between my collection of the data and eventual publication of our various articles, my co-author and I have noted some prominent accounts’ being suspended from Twitter. Because we work hard to not use identifiable quotes in our writing, and because of Elon Musk’s decision to unsuspend nearly all suspended accounts after taking the platform over, I’ve been checking accounts I knew to previously be suspended as we work on a new manuscript.

far-right Mormonism and the boundaries of Twitter hashtags

- kudos:

There are a couple of weeks before the deadline to submit abstracts for the Mormon Social Science Association’s sessions at the 2024 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, so I’ve been filling some nooks and crannies of my busy work week by looking at some Twitter data. Last year, I published with my colleague Amy Chapman a qualitative look at the #DezNat Twitter hashtag, which blends Mormon orthodoxy with far-right and anti-feminist thinking.

upcoming research talk on DezNat for Bainbridge Latter-day Saint fireside series

- kudos:

A couple of months ago, Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned the work that Amy Chapman and I have been doing on the far-right-influenced DezNat movement. Shortly after Peggy’s article was published, someone who coordinates an unofficial series of Latter-day Saint-related firesides reached out to us about speaking to their group about our research on the DezNat movement. Before accepting, we made it clear that our work isn’t devotional, neither of us are practicing Latter-day Saints, and our work could be understood as critical of cultural and institutional Mormonism; however, the fireside organizers said that they were used to getting into controversial topics related to Mormonism and that our work was welcome with them.

quoted in Salt Lake Tribune article on DezNat movement

- kudos:

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.

new publication: far-right and anti-feminist influences on a Mormon Twitter hashtag

- kudos:

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.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Instagram Has a White Nationalist ‘Groyper’ Problem'

- kudos:

I wish this weren’t as relevant as it is to my work on Mormon Twitter, but here we are. link to ‘Instagram Has a White Nationalist ‘Groyper’ Problem’

- kudos:

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.

unexpected research ethics implications of Twitter's 'general amnesty' for suspended accounts

- kudos:

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.

new publication: LGBTQ+ communities and far right social media

- kudos:

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.

new presentation: reactionary Mormons and religious authority online

- kudos:

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.

- kudos:

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.

when niche research pays off

- kudos:

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).

some thoughts on Gab pushback against research on Gab

- kudos:

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.

Dallin Oaks and Marjorie Taylor Greene on heterosexual extinction

- kudos:

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.

- kudos:

I think you can be glad a villain got unmasked but uneasy that Batman’s the one who did it.