It began on Oct. 5, when The New York Times reported the first allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. But it became a juggernaut 10 days later, when the actress Alyssa Milano encouraged victims of sexual harassment or assault to tweet the words "me too."
A collective raising of hands across social media quickly snowballed into a viral, global hashtag, as #MeToo appeared in more than 500,o00 tweets and 12 million Facebook posts within the first 24 hours. Harrowing, first-person accounts of being sexually abused clogged Instagram feeds, too.
Milano had hoped an online chorus of #MeToos might illustrate the "magnitude of the problem"—and she was right. The hashtag's virality alone made it seem as if all women (and some men) had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lives.