Google maps the spread of #MeToo around the world
April 20, 2018
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open,” political activist and poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote in a poem in 1968. The quote, which is one of the slogans of contemporary feminism, is used as the introduction to Me Too Rising, an interactive visualization just launched by Google that maps the rise of the movement around the world.
#MeToo took social media and public opinion by storm last October, when The New York Times published the first of a long series of investigative pieces on the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood. Since then, the movement, which began with a hashtag on Twitter, became a global crusade that united women from different walks of life to an unprecedented level.
While we have all read and heard personal stories about #MeToo, the new project launched by Google, created in collaboration with the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, offers a new insight into the scale of the phenomenon with a detailed timeline and information by country and city. By clicking on any location marked on the map, it’s possible to access the top trending stories and how they were reported locally and internationally.
Google built the map relying on the most popular searching trends related to the topic over seven months, showing how the movement was conceived, embraced and spread almost entirely online.
“This is not only a significant moment in history; it’s a significant moment in internet history: Me Too marks a time when sexual assault survivors everywhere turned the internet into a platform for their voices and perspectives to be heard and respected,” Malika Saada Saar, Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel, wrote in a post.