International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
LGBTQ Human Rights and Conservative Backlash: A Case Study of Digital Activism in Mexico

Abstract


The internet is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to form networks that disseminate information and encourage collective action. As a socio-material practice the ways in which liberal and conservative social actors use the internet matters deeply, as evidenced by the power of social media to manipulate election results. This paper asks to what degree are liberal and conservative social movement organizations using the internet -specifically, websites and social media - to achieve their goals, and what can activists and policy makers learn from trends in use of such digital strategies? To answer this question this paper presents an analysis of the websites and social media of two core sets of liberal (LGBTQ) and conservative (pro-family) organizations that engage each other within a contested policy domain. A principal finding is that while pro-family organizations use their websites and social media more extensively, neither pro-family nor LGBTQ organizations take full advantage of their digital ecosystems. While there is a significant amount research on the topic of digital activism, LGBTQ human rights, and social movements, there is very little social science research that analyzes the use of digital strategies within LGBTQ social movements, and even less that examines how conservative social movements use digital forms of activism to counteract liberal gains. This paper helps fill that gap by identifying trends in liberal and conservative organizations’ use of websites and social media and in so doing contributes new knowledge relevant to social science theory(s) and public policy.