A simple tweet by actress Alyssa Milano started a consciousness-raising movement that has set social media ablaze with women stepping forward to say, “#MeToo”.

On Sunday, 15 October 2017, the Charmed actress took to Twitter to ask followers to reply “me too” on her tweet if they have been sexually harassed or assaulted. An astounding 64K+ individuals (women and men) replied with the two words, shared their experiences or voiced their support for the movement.

As if the engagement with that post wasn’t enough, the tweet sparked a social media trend that has flooded online channels. Claims against public male figures such as Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly that have been exposed in the recent past were popular themes in driving online mentions but experiences with family members, bosses or partners have also surfaced.

#MeToo social media statistics

Me Too content sources

Me Too conversation participants

  • There were over 4 million mentions during October (until the 17th), 26% of which occurred on 16 October.
  • Females made the most considerable contribution to volumes, however, 29% of mentions were by males.
  • Social media was the preferred medium for sharing.
  • The majority of mentions stemmed from Twitter, followed by Tumblr and Instagram.
  • As expected, the most used hashtag was #MeToo with 1,2 million mentions, followed by #NoMore and #WomenWhoRoar with 14K+ and 10K uses respectively.

The volumes and support generated from this trend are staggering with several celebrities and organisations adding to the conversation.

But as Alyssa Rosenberg from The Washington Post points out, “Consciousness-raising moments such as #MeToo, or previous hashtags such as #YesAllWomen or #WhatWereYouWearing; or Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony before Congress about the sexual harassment she said Clarence Thomas subjected her to; or the 1971 “Rape Speak Out” organised by the New York Radical Feminists, are opening salvos in the fights against sexual harassment and sexual violence. But they are entirely insufficient to end these problems on their own.”

Let’s hope this movement brings about real change in law and culture.

References and Additional Reading