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Volume 29, Number 5 - 6 May 2024
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Pennsylvania from space
This month: May 2024
Exploring political topics that connect to antisemitism on Twitter: U.S. midterms Pennsylvania gubernatorial race 2022
Online antisemitism rears its head during times of political instability, especially during contentious elections. This paper uses the 2022 Pennsylvania gubernatorial governor race as a case study to examine what political topics spur antisemitic expression on Twitter. Both rich political and antisemitism discourses are offered by this election that featured a Jewish Democrat candidate Josh Shapiro and far-right Republican candidate Doug Mastriano. Over 800 tweets were qualitatively analyzed through critical discourse analysis to understand both Shapiro’s political tweets and the antisemitic reply tweets. This study shows that particularly controversial topics of abortion rights and extremism in politics led to the highest amount of antisemitic expression. Dominantly, Jewish political control conspiracies were used as simple explanations for particularly turbulent political topics.
Also this month
TikTok’s queer public culture of mental health support
TikTok offers LGBTQ+ young people a queer public through which to negotiate mental health difficulties. Data from an Australian survey of LGBTQ+ young people was analysed to consider TikTok-specific mental health support. Five key themes of support related to: 1) sharing experiences; 2) encountering ‘people like me’; 3) comfort and safety; 4) mental health education; and 5) feeling less alone. These overlapping themes foreground the affective aspects of TikTok use for many LGBTQ+ young people, reflecting Cvetkovich’s theorization of ‘queer public cultures’. This can be seen in LGBTQ+ young people’s collective negotiations of mental health on TikTok — as a platform that offers new affective connections to queer culture, while continuing an ongoing culture of peer support forged through collective struggle, survival, and creative practice.