Why you're seeing #MeToo on friends' social media pages

Actress Alyssa Milano is credited for spreading a two-word status, which draws attention to just how many women have been affected by sexual harassment and assault.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Scrolling through Facebook or Twitter on Monday, you may see a number of similar posts, some saying nothing other than "me too." 

It's based on a tweet sent Sunday by actress Alyssa Milano, urging those who've been sexually harassed or assaulted to post the two-word status.

As of Monday morning, Milano's original tweet had been retweeted more than 13,000 times and liked more than 28,000 times, with more than 38,000 replies. And the idea has been picked up by an untold number of social media users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites. The #MeToo hashtag had been used more than 200,000 times since Sunday night, the BBC reported.

Some shared details of their assaults or harassment, or offered support for those sharing the status, while some simply let the two words speak for themselves.

Milano also retweeted a message acknowledging that men and boys can also be assaulted and harassed, though noting that the #MeToo campaign is focusing on women's experiences. Some men have also shared the "Me Too" phrase.

Milano, 44, is best known for her role in 1980s sitcom "Who's the Boss?" The #MeToo campaign stems from the series of sexual-harassment allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last week, and mocked on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend.

Celebrities were among those using the "Me Too" wording to acknowledge their assault and harassment.

Some have suggested that a second hashtag, #IHave, be used by those who either participated in such abuse or watched it happen and didn't stop it.

Social media has seen similar awareness campaigns, including one last summer in which users posted a photo of a safety pin to indicate that they were safe havens for those who felt targeted due to their religion, nationality or other status.

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