Digital footprints of #MeToo

Publication Name

Feminist Media Studies


When #MeToo exploded onto social media in October 2017, it dramatically ruptured public consciousness in revealing the widespread nature of sexual harassment and violence around the world. Yet, despite the global attention afforded to #MeToo, it was preceded by numerous initiatives, which we argue created digital footprints instrumental in rendering #MeToo intelligible. As such, the aim of this article is two-fold. Firstly, it offers the first attempt to map a diverse range of initiatives which have mobilized to fight sexual violence, and in doing so, makes visible the global genealogy of digital feminist activism responding to sexualised violence. Secondly, building on these digital footprints and looking towards the future of digital feminist activism, the article demonstrates the power and potential of initiatives that expose the structural conditions enabling sexual violence to occur through the collective sharing of experiences across cybernetworks via processes of “ethical witnessing.” We conclude by advocating for greater recognition of those voices and experiences that feminist scholars and activists alike continue to fail to witness and call for greater efforts to archive the genealogy of digital feminist mobilisation in order to capture the complexity and diversity of its past, present and future.

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