- Waves of social activism and callout culture have defined quarantine, starting with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, followed by viral workplace inequality stories, and now hundreds of new sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations being disseminated online.
- The surge of allegations echoes the 2017 “Me Too” movement, inspired by the Harvey Weinstein accusations, which included widespread use of the “#MeToo” hashtag.
- This time, viral allegations of sexual misconduct against comedian Chris D’Elia seemed to spark a new wave of accusations against A-list teen celebrities, video game streamers and developers, wrestling professionals, and internet personalities.
- While some allegations have been substantiated, and some have had consequences for the accused, the outpouring of allegations on social media has largely just been subjected to the court of online opinion — which has so far shifted back and forth rapidly, leading to the rise of an unsubstantiated belief that accusers may be making false accusations as part of a trend or for “clout.”
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Multiple industries and internet-adjacent communities appear to be in the middle of a massive “Me Too” moment, as hundreds of sexual assault allegations have been amplified across social media platforms over the past week.
In the gaming industry alone, The New York Times reports that more than 70 individuals, most of them women, have come forward with allegations that include gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
Online celebrities like Twitter personality Jovan Hill and TikTokers Ondreaz Lopez and Cody Orlove have all responded to accusations of sexual assault and abuse, apologizing to the accusers but denying the extent of their claims.
Additionally, huge stars in the professional wrestling community have been accused of varying degrees of sexual assault, with the majority of the accusations emerging on social media using the hashtag “#SpeakingOut,” Deadspin reported. Some of the accused faced immediate consequences including firings, as dozens of women in the wrestling community came forward in a matter of days.
But while some communities appear to be taking the allegations seriously — particularly in the streaming and wrestling industries, where there are hierarchies of authority figures that can vet claims and hold individuals accountable — many of the allegations are being brought forward by either anonymous figures that can’t be vetted, or are being vetted in a social media ecosystem…