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.
This reminds me of all the pastors doing guest posts on the official Gab blog. Also, of course Glenn Beck was involved in this somehow.
link to ‘Meet the ‘Black Robe Regiment’ of Extremist Pastors Spreading Christian Nationalism’
Good reporting on a scary but important subject. I’ve been collecting Gab blog posts to eventually study some of this Christian nationalism.
link to ‘Gab Founder Andrew Torba Wants to Build a Christian Nationalist Internet’
Look, Parler isn’t as bad as Gab, but this kind of softball, uncritical approach to the platform is not helpful. WSJ should know better.
link to ‘Social Network Parler Restructures, Focuses on ‘Uncancellable Economy’ - WSJ’
I read Torba’s blog post last week but hadn’t been aware of the context. Interesting read.
link to ‘Gab Users Somehow Astounded To Discover Gab Will Comply With FBI Requests For User Information | Techdirt’
Nearly a year ago, a friend gave me a copy of Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation as a gift for my confirmation into Community of Christ. It (obviously) took me a while to start it, and it’s taking me some time to read through it, but there’s a lot in there that I like. This afternoon, this passage stood out to me:
Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed his faith.
I knew that Gab was supporting Mastriano, but I didn’t realize ties ran this deep. Gab is a toxic hellhole, and if Mastriano is sending them money, that should rule him out as a candidate.
link to ‘Doug Mastriano Faces Criticism Over His Backing From Antisemitic Ally - The New York Times’
Here’s the EFF pointing out that “free speech” on these platforms means something very particular rather than a broad, deep commitment to legally-protected expression.
link to ‘Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Platforms Are Censoring Nude Content. Here’s Why You Should Care | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
Over the past several months, I’ve been slowly working my way through Mark Scherer’s three-volume The Journey of a People, the most recent quasi-official history of Community of Christ. The first volume was interesting, since it covered an era of Mormon history that I’m familiar with from a perspective that I’m not familiar with. I found the second volume a bit harder to get through—some individual sections were fascinating, but it seemed to lack an overall throughline or narrative.
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.
I get that some of this is bluster and posturing, but that doesn’t make it any less worrying. This is the same state GOP that leaned into Gab a year or two ago.
link to ‘Texas GOP’s new platform says Biden didn’t really win the 2020 election : NPR’
Given the aggressively queerphobic language I’ve read on Gab, events like this are worrying but not surprising. More worrying is the way that this queerphobic language is increasingly used in the mainstream GOP. How do Republican politicians and voters feel about these events?
link to ‘A far-right plan to riot near an Idaho LGBTQ event heightens safety concerns at Pride : NPR’
This matches rhetoric I’m reading while doing research on Gab. We need respectable conservative movements in the U.S., but our contemporary mainstream right is flirting with these ideas instead of denouncing them. It’s troubling
link to ‘The Far-Right Is Doxxing School Officials They Think Are “Groomers”’
Latest guest post on official blog of far right Gab platform could have been a Latter-day Saint General Conference sermon. Sure, rejecting truth and embracing evil sounds bad, but there are a lot of assumptions that need to be surfaced and interrogated about what both terms mean.
Proud of Lexington for hosting this. Also wondering if I should check the Lexington groups on Gab to see if the local far-right is cranky about it.
link to ‘Lexington KY peace vigil for Ukraine set for Wednesday | Lexington Herald Leader’
Just explained something I learned from studying far right spaces in Mormon social media to collaborators on a project studying queer spaces in far right social media, which is not an experience I expected when starting grad school in ed tech.
Guess who responded to a recent House censure by joining Gab a few days ago?
Du Mez is the perfect person to respond to this. Fwiw, Gab is giving some serious Jesus & John Wayne vibes right now, for all the same reasons Hawley is.
link to ‘Sen. Josh Hawley claims without evidence that liberals are attacking masculinity : NPR’
This is the sort of thing that Gab will decry if they’re serious and consistent about their supposed pro-free speech, anti-deplatformization stand. My bet, though, is that Torba writes a blog post in the next week arguing that porn isn’t free speech and good on banks for cracking down on OnlyFans.
link to ‘OnlyFans Says It Is Banning Sexually Explicit Content - The New York Times’
You would think I’d have stopped being surpised by anything posted to the Gab blog by now, but “actually, platforms should be held responsible for content they host, but none of our content is problematic” is still a take I wasn’t expecting.
Just reread “Superman Smashes the Klan” after a day that involved checking up on Gab for research purposes, and I believe more than ever that this is one of the best and most important comics of our time. 📚
Free tip to people reporting/writing on Gab: Don’t talk about “Trump’s account” as though it’s actually used by the man instead of populated by Gab to give the impression the platform has his endorsement. Plays into their hands.
I am not sure what I was expecting when I started looking for Mormon* content on Gab, but “we should get the missionaries on this platform” wasn’t it.