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QAnon Research: August 15, 2023
An intermittent update with a select few publications.
Today we bring you a select number of academic research articles, including ones submitted and written by members of the QAnon Research Network! I have been consumed by moving as I transition out of industry and back into a PhD program, but soon academic work will be my bread and butter again, so I’ll be reading and collecting articles more. Still, the format/length/timing of the newsletter will perhaps remain a little haphazard as I settle into a new rhythm of life. Thanks for reading!
Much of the information posted here would be difficult to find without the contributions of our submitters, so we please ask that you submit to our Google form to keep everyone in the loop. We also encourage people to comment on posts on the website and to always feel free to reach out to us. To grow the community, please invite anyone who might be interested by sending out a link to this newsletter:
We look forward to your submissions. Take care and enjoy the rest of the newsletter!
From members of the QAnon Research Network:
Stephanie Beene, firstname.lastname@example.org, University of New Mexico
Katie Greer, email@example.com, Oakland University
Along with my co-author, Katie Greer, we invite the Qanon Research Network to check out two articles we have published. Both of our articles are freely accessible via the UNM institutional repository:
1) Published just prior to the capitol insurrection, in January 2021, titled "A Call to action for Libraries: Countering conspiracy theories in the age of Qanon", published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship [Link]
2) The 2023 article that reports on the results of the nationwide survey we conducted in October 2021, titled "Library workers on the front lines of conspiracy theories in the U.S.: One nationwide survey," published in Reference Services Review [Link]
“Waiting for Q: An Exploration of QAnon Users' Online Migration to Poal in the Wake of Voat's Demise” in arXiv [Link]
Antonis Papasavva (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Enrico Mariconti
“I Can’t Keep It Up.” A Dataset from the Defunct Voat.co News Aggregator in Proceedings of the Sixteenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2022) [Link]
Amin Mekacher and Antonis Papasavva
From the author: I am sharing with you a recent publication that studies the migration of QAnon adherents from Reddit to Voat, and then from Voat to Poal. For this work, the authors used the previously public dataset of Voat.
Voat dataset zenodo public link [Link]
“QAnon, authoritarianism, and conspiracy within American alternative spiritual spaces” in Frontiers in Sociology [Link]
Christopher T. Conner
Introduction: QAnon, in the United States, has become something of household name due to its role in the January 6th insurrection, and because of the relatively high degree of media attention it has received. While such coverage has been useful in understanding this conspiracy movement, it has also painted a picture of QAnon that is incomplete.
Methods: Using a qualitative ethnographic approach I analyzed 1,000 hours of QAnon content produced by 100 QAnon influencers. I created a database of 4,104 images (tweets, screenshots, and other static forms of communication) and 122 videos.
Results: We found three separate cultural entry points not typically associated with the movement—Yoga and Wellness Groups, Neo-Shamanistic circles, and Psychics. By colonizing these spaces QAnon was able to embed itself, disguise its abrasive features, and go largely unnoticed by the general public.
Discussion: This study reminds us that authoritarianism can take root in a variety of spaces, and that within each of us lie potentially fascistic tendencies—even those seeking enlightenment, through alternative practices.
Book: QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories [Link]
Edited by Michael W. Austin and Gregory L. Bock
Description: Although Christians are followers of the Truth, many find themselves tempted by the alternate “truths” offered by conspiracy theories. Christianity and conspiracy theories have had a long, complicated relationship. But today conspiracy theories are bringing our already polarized society to the brink of chaos. QAnon, the Big Lie, and anti-vaccination theories thrive online, disrupting faith communities. This timely essay collection explores the allure of conspiracy theories and their consequences—and ultimately offers gospel-based paths forward.
Taxonomizing Information Practices in a Large Conspiracy Movement: Using Early QAnon as a Case Study [Link]
New Territories for Fan Studies: The insurrection, QAnon, Donald Trump and Fandom [Link]
Tweeting the Pandemic Away: A Look at How Academics, Activists, Politicians, and the Media Interact with the Public on Twitter [Link]
Accounting for Personalization in Personalization Algorithms: YouTube’s Treatment of Conspiracy Content [Link]
On Modeling the Correlates of Conspiracy Thinking [Link]
Conspiracy Theory as Individual and Group Behavior: Observations from the Flat Earth International Conference [Link]