Messages sent over Animal Rights-Talk, an electronic mail network devoted to the discussion of issues related to the animal rights movement, were analyzed. Messages typically fell into the following categories: questions and information, discussions of philosophical issues, ethical problems associated with the treatment of particular species, the politics of the animal rights movement, problems of moral consistency, the ethics of particular uses of non-human species (e.g., meat consumption, biomedical research with animal subjects), and matters pertaining to the internal life of the network (e.g., efforts at control of perceived norm violations). Debates between animal activists and animal researchers over the network often reflected the conflicting cosmologies of scientists and animal protectionists. We argue that computer bulletin boards offer a potentially important avenue for qualitative research.
Herzog, H. A., Dinoff, B., & Page, J. R. (1997). Animal rights talk: Moral debate over the internet. Qualitative Sociology, 20(3), 399-418.