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The #MeToo hashtag started appearing on Twitter and other forms of social media on October 15, 2017. The phrase became popular when actress Alyssa Milano encouraged people who had been victims of sexual abuse to share their stories.
A little over one year later, what has been the impact of the social movement? This was the question the Pew Research Center recently considered.
According to the organization, people have used the #MeToo hashtag over 19 million times since 2017. That comes to over 55,000 tweets per day.
People used the #MeToo hashtag the most on Sept 9, 2018—the day when CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves resigned amid many allegations of sexual misconduct. The second most occurred when Harvey Weinstein resigned from the board of his entertainment company.
A number of personal characteristics also influenced the Tweets. Most of the time, people Tweeted in English, but 29 percent of the time, they used another language.
Political affiliation influenced #MeToo usage, as Democrats used the hastage more frequently than Republicans.
Finally, women legislators were more likely than men to use the #MeToo hashtag on their Facebook pages. This was true for Democrats and Republicans alike. Three or four Democratic women used the hashtag, while 6 of 10 Republican women did so.
Together, the Pew Research data show that sexual harassment and abuse continue to be hot topics for people on social media. The #MeToo hashtag is a mainstay, as are other social movements designed to raise awareness of and ultimately end sexual harassment and abuse.