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Public sphere, social media and the #MeToo campaign

McCarron, Jemma and Mitra, Barbara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4512-466X Public sphere, social media and the #MeToo campaign. In: Gender: Representation, Engagement and Expression in the Digital Sphere. Rowman and Littlefield. (In Press)

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Abstract

In 2017, Alyssa Milano’s tweet went viral after asking Twitter followers to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment using the hashtag #MeToo. Whilst the #hashtag campaign’s awareness-raising success is compelling, there is also evidence of both active and passive silencing taking place. Thematic analysis of #MeToo tweets shared between October 2017 and November 2019 showed that although women’s voices were initially raised, there is evidence of symbolic annihilation of women and silencing of marginal groups, including Tarana Burke, the black, female campaign originator. Of particular concern is that this silencing was taking place on multiple levels from multiple sources, including those with personal, political, and business motivations. It was also carried out by individuals, political groups, and the social media platforms themselves. This research highlighted concerns that Twitter and other Social Media platforms are not inclusive spaces for minority voices. The voices we most need to hear are too often the ones that are silenced or absent. Social media platforms such as Twitter have the potential to empower marginalised groups, however the current online spaces seem to lead us further into our own echo chambers enmeshed in labyrinths of cul-de-sacs.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Barbara Mitra
Date Deposited: 26 May 2022 12:33
Last Modified: 26 May 2022 12:42
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12165

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