The #MeToo movement is one of the most far-reaching social media movements in history and its impact can still be felt years later. As the hashtag in the name suggests, the #MeToo movement gained the bulk of its momentum on Twitter but the movement’s actual origins began on MySpace in 2006. Tarana Burke, a long-time activist, founded the nonprofit organization Just Be Inc., which serves survivors of sexual assault and harassment. Burke came up with the concept of “me too” in 1997 when she was counseling a 13-year-old survivor of sexual abuse at a youth camp. Burke states that when she heard the girl’s story, she wanted to tell her “me too” but could not in that moment.
The movement gained significant media attention in 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a request that “women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted” write “Me too.” Milano’s request came in the wake of the reports that powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted several women. Milano’s tweet quickly went “viral,” resulting in 1.7 million tweets within days that contained the hashtag #MeToo. The hashtag was also picked up internationally, with 85 countries having at least 1,000 tweets with #MeToo within less than a month.