Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Crime, Media, Culture


In March of 2022, The Walt Disney Company voiced opposition to Florida’s "Parental Rights in Education" (“Don’t Say Gay”) in support of LGBTQ+ stakeholders within in the company and the public. This research studied a dataset of 68,481 tweets where the company’s stance was constructed as “grooming” children, i.e. manipulating children for sexual abuse. Tweets were collected from March 13, 2022 to May 16, 2022 representing a two month period from Disney’s stance against "Parental Rights in Education.” As grooming is a term often associated with human trafficking and Disney is a major media company, this study is interested in potential linkages to QAnon messaging. QAnon is a conspiracy that proposes a “cabal of elites” is trafficking and abusing children. This thematic connection has been noted by previous scholarship and this study seeks to contribute to empirical validation of that connection. Results suggest that the accounts having the most effect in terms of impact, views, shares, and followers are primarily accounts that have shared QAnon related conspiratorial content.


The following is the approved manuscript for the article appearing in the journal Crime Media Culture and can be found at



Published Citation

Peterka-Benton, D., Benton, B., & Penney, J. 2023. “From Conspiracy to Normalcy: The Mainstreaming of QAnon in ‘Disney Grooming’ Messages Online.” Crime, Media, Culture.