Social Media as an Opportunity for Public Health Interventions: The #Metoo Movement as an Exemplar
Background: Social media have been used exponentially and globally, providing a means for billions of users to connect, interact, share opinions and criticise, becoming one of the main channels of communication for users around the world. One of the most popular free social media networks is Twitter, with more than 100 million active users per day worldwide. Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyse a sample of the public conversations generated, using the hashtag #MeToo, around the topic of sexual abuse on Twitter. Methods: Using social media marketing software, the use of the #MeToo hashtag was analysed over a period of 60 days (14 September 2017 to 13 November of 2017). Results: The #MeToo conversation was mainly in English (79.3%), located in the United States (48.2% of cases), but with global repercussions. The volume of mentions of the #MeToo hashtag was far greater (97.7%), compared with other hashtags related to violence over this period of time, using mostly Twitter (96.2%). Conclusions: These results suggest that it is possible to describe different groups using the social media, and analyse their conversations to identify opportunities for successful public health interventions. If the topic is relevant for the general public, it will generate interest and conversations at the global level, supported by a universal and borderless channel such as Twitter.
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