Opening the Black Box of Online Influence and the Social Contagion of Transgenderism
Announcing: An Artificial Intelligence Research Project into Peer-Mediated Adolescent-Onset Gender Dysphoria
Shannon B Douglas (Shannon Boschy)
If you’re like me, a parent of a trans-identified child, and you’ve been following the rapid developments related to what’s happening with the explosion of cross-sex identification in children over these very recent years, you have unsettled feelings and a desire to understand the simple question: How could this be happening?
I’ve been asking this question since my child told me more than a year ago that they were starting HRT and as I began investigating the science and the nonsense around the epidemic rise in gender dysphoria in the last decade. I wanted to share news with parents like me that with the help of a leading Canadian Artificial Intelligence research firm, along with advisors; Dr. Lisa Littman, who coined the descriptive term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD); Lisa Marchiano MCSW, who has been writing the social contagion of Gender Dysphoria since 2016 (Quilette); Jane Wheeler, founder of Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME); as well as Helena Kershner, Mia Ashton and others, we are preparing to deploy a Machine-Learning (A.I.) query capable of giving us deep insights into the online spread of this contagion.
The A.I. firm specializes in public sentiment analysis, understanding aggregate decision-making and decision-making processes and in mapping them online. I won’t name the company yet since we well-know that anyone asking questions about gender ideology which threatens the stability of the trans narrative can become targets of activists, but I can say they have a stellar track record and international clients including large corporations and major political campaigns. They’ve provided data leading to published research identifying indicators of suicide risk through analyzing social media communications online. They have patented algorithms that help them identify large, statistically valid sample-populations—stripped of identifiers—that protect individual privacy which leads to production of peer-review-quality datasets for their clients.
Our project will give us the ability to look back in time as far back as 2011 to map the trends and major influences of the cultural explosion of transgender identification in teens to help us all find more answers about what’s been happening to our children online. We will be looking at three primary platforms that are text-based to create these maps, which will help us understand the types of influences and influencers that are giving children the idea that they can be, might be or are transgender: Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr.
What’s unique about this A.I. is that it can identify conversational language patterns and identify and aggregate collective sentiments and patterns—and it learns as it goes. The first phase of the project might be understood with the following idea: a tourist goes to see what they want to see; while a traveler goes to see what is there. We would all love of course to treat this as an opportunity to “ask the Oracle” and have our intuitions, our fears, or our deep suspicions and speculations confirmed. Are our children being groomed? Is this a free-floating psychic contagion emergent as a property of the internet itself? Can we prove that this IS a social contagion? Are there predators and bad actors, advertisers, and promoters from the gender-medical industry hiding behind trans influencers that are scaling up this as a cult phenomenon for their own profit? Is there a Pied Piper of the Trans Contagion?
At this point we don’t know for certain—but they are the things we may discover and be able to speak about in more scientific terms as the project unfolds.
We have been preparing for this project since late 2021 and it was catalyzed by a conversation I had with the CEO of the company, following events that “jumped me in” to the larger gender conversation. I have been asking myself obsessively since my child announced their transition and since I started looking at evidence and lack thereof for their choice to undertake hormone therapy: what’s the biggest lever I can possibly pull to have an influence on changing the course of this horror? The answer and opportunity came following my first encounter with Billboard Chris.
Late last year, I stood with him, along with Chanel Pfahl, a Canadian teacher, across from an Ottawa Public High School on a public street in Ottawa with signs—I think mine said, “No-One Can be Born in the Wrong Body.” We were mobbed by several hundred protestors whipped up by the Ottawa Public School Board (OCDSB), and the now-leading 2022 Ottawa mayoral candidate, Catherine McKenney, with the collusion of local media. I was left stunned at the intensity, the fury, the hysteria, the militancy, and brutal aggression of these bullies from the Ottawa-Carleton Rainbow Coalition—a group of local university activists.
The mob separated the three of us and we were each surrounded by many dozens of these rainbow jackboots, screaming and chanting vile abuse. Chris was assaulted, spray painted, had liquids poured on him as protestors pushed and shoved us for the fifteen minutes that we were on this public street. The Ottawa police looked on while we were being abused by this mob and while Chris’ car was vandalized. I walked away stunned in disbelief.
A few days later, still in shock, I happened to be at a business social and had a conversation with the head of this globally leading Artificial Intelligence research firm. She was not only sympathetic, but concerned about the number of kids in her children’s social and educational circles where were suddenly transitioning, and she asked me if I’d like her to deploy a simple, one-off query with the A.I. The A.I. was quickly able to identify patterns of conversation about the event and about the issue across Canada and to gauge public sentiment about the medicalization of children. Public sentiment was mostly against the medicalization of children who identified as trans, despite activist demands for inclusion and human rights. We were also able to confirm that Chris Elston was meeting his goal about stimulating conversation about gender ideology since there was a spike following the events of that day.
Our A.I. project, as far as we can tell, is unique in the world. As most of us know, funding for research is abundant and free-flowing related to affirming anything the gender industry wants—but anything critical of it fails to pass the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion screens for research and never sees the light of day. We believe that the results of this project will be important for several reasons, some of which we won’t understand until we start seeing the first datasets:
We will be able to produce publishable academic results that show the drivers of the social contagion I have called “The Gender Bubble;”
We will be able to produce trend-data by identify large statistically valid population samples and track influence over time to correlate with media events—like the launch of the reality show, “I am Jazz;” to determine to what extent these various influences had an impact on the stunning rise of trans-identification in teens since 2015.
We will be able to see into the black box of the digital influence on kids who are self-diagnosing as transgender and see what patterns may exist around their decisions to change pronouns, to socially transition and to medicalize.
We will be able to map the extent to which this online cult(ure) influences parental alienation for questioning a child’s trans identity;
We will be able to examine and possibly corroborate testimonies of detransitioners like our collaborator Helena Kershner and others, who have bravely shared stories of their online experiences and the impacts of social and peer influence on them;
We will also be able to determine ideological correlations if they exist. The overlap of Social Justice Ideology with kids who are self-identifying seems obvious to many of us, but if this indeed exists and we can statistically validate it, we will have important tools in the ongoing conversation about the dangers of this phenomenon to our children.
Recently our working group had a brief conversation with Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Yale—arguably the world’s leading expert on social contagion. We reached out to him after Mia Ashton’s tweet thread on social contagion caught his eye and he confirmed in a series of tweets that he believed that transgenderism met the criteria for social contagion.
When we spoke, he talked about the epidemic rise in Gender Dysphoria that we’re all aware of. He described a phenomenon of the “narrowing of vision” related to identifying as trans for people drawn into this; how the field of options around the experience of mental distress, of anxiety, and of the host of other co-morbid mental and emotional states we know from other reports and research co-occur in so many of our kids, can be overlooked and replaced by just this one single possibility. “I am trans.”
How can so many people be possessed by a set of toxic ideas that suggest humans can change sex and that this is not only a real thing, but that it is a human right to receive medical treatments to those ends? How is it that so many possessed by this contagion can be so narrowed in their vision of possibilities that they would mobilize in mobs against anyone who questions this, attacking them as bigots, transphobes and hateful people?
Can we identify what is driving people caught in the contagion towards only one possible outcome?
Can we use the data we are able to extract from this research to counter the phenomenon in some way? Are there identifiable patterns of detransition?
These are the questions we are hoping to explore.
In the coming weeks I will be hosting information sessions on the project. We are finalizing a presentation deck as well as a white paper with the research and academic criteria for this project. We are looking for financial supporters.
Phase one will be exploratory and run from 4-8 weeks building the research sample and phase two (running 4-6 months) will allow us to prioritize and explore trends that we have identified as the A.I. learns more and more about this cohort of our loved ones and what’s happening to them online.
We expect the total cost of the first two phases will be approximately $40,000 USD and with a very small number of close supporters we have approximately $7,500 in current commitments. We hope that this research will add to the growing body of evidence that something is deeply wrong with the numbers of children and teens being drawn into this ideology and into these sets of destructive beliefs and invite you to participate in this unique and insightful exercise.
Please contact me for details of upcoming info-sessions and for info on how you can contribute to this important project.
Shannon Boschy firstname.lastname@example.org