#MeToo – How One Tweet Inspired a Movement

Heather Satterfield Heather Satterfield, Marketing Manager

If you’re like me you’ve noticed your social media feeds are flooded with #MeToo statements, stories, and voices. While it’s sad to think of the number of women who have been impacted by sexual violence, it’s also empowering to know that so many feel brave enough to share their voice via #MeToo. Sexual harassment and assault has been placed front and center from both female and male perspectives, in essence encompassing a Me too-You too-We too-She too-He too dialogue. If anything positive came out of the Harvey Weinstein floodgates it’s that more people than ever are taking to social platforms to shine a light on sexual harassment and assault. Let’s dig into the social data of these #MeToo voices to see a more in depth picture of its impact.

First, let’s look at the timeline of the #MeToo campaign using Sysomos Search. On Sunday October 15 at 12pm there were 295 mentions of #MeToo on Twitter and at 10pm there were over 83k mentions.

Tarana Burke, an activist, creator of Just Be Inc., and sexual assault survivor, has been empowering young women through ‘Me Too’ since 2007. Tarana’s efforts for awareness were brought to the forefront when celebrities joined what Tarana has been saying for years. On Sunday, Alyssa Milano advocated for awareness and unity for those who have been victimized by sexual harassment and assault by urging her followers to reply to her tweet with ‘Me Too’ if they had ever been sexually violated or harassed. Her tweet originated at 4:21 PM on Sunday, October 15 and as of Tuesday morning her tweet had received over 22k retweets and 60k replies.

Below is a look at the tweet life of this particular tweet. To better understand the tweet life metrics let me briefly explain how these work and what knowledge we can gather from this type of metric. The half-life metric shows the virality of the tweet. It allows us to see the elapsed time between the original tweet and the retweet that represents the middle-point of the total spread. Keep in mind that the maximum number of retweets analyzed is 1k. Of the 1k retweets sampled we can look at the time that passed between the original tweet and it’s 500th retweet, giving us the half-life results. Using Milano’s tweet, the 500th retweet came almost 11.5 hours after the original tweet. The 80% life, which is the 800th retweet came 1 day after the original was post.

Another important metric of the tweet life is max depth, it helps you understand where the majority of the retweets originated and what their impact is. You can see if a retweet was from your follower, or by followers of your followers and so forth. The depth levels increase when a retweet comes from someone outside of the retweeters’ network. Milano’s particular tweet has a max depth of 5, meaning that at some point during the tweet life this tweet reached 5 levels, showing that the tweet had a high impact.

Alyssa Milano’s tweet garnered even more awareness from actresses in Hollywood. Through social data you can see the shift that Milano and others had hoped for, people were using social media as a way to unmask what so many women carry day-to-day. The #MeToo conversation allowed them to have a voice that focused on them without any distractions or having to go into detail. Here are a few of those tweets:

It’s also important to see that the voices of #MeToo are global. While 56% of the conversation is being driven from the US, it’s also being discussed in places like South Africa, India, and Mexico.

Additionally, it’s not just women talking about it either, men are chiming in on their experiences as well and offering support. Using Search we can see that between October 11-17 there has been 1.2M mentions of #MeToo by 950k users. When considering the number of mentions we can see that roughly 70% of the people talking about #MeToo are women, which means the other 30% of the mentions are coming from men.

Below are some tweets from men discussing sexual violence and raising awareness as well.

The conversation has a fierce start on social platforms, but where does it go from here? Taking a sensitive, yet relevant topic and looking at it through the lens of social data allows us to keenly see what is unfolding inside and outside of the hashtag. These two small, but mighty words- ‘Me Too’- are holding the weight and carrying the voice of many. May the momentum continue.