Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School

Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Jennifer Anderson


#MeToo, Antinormative behaviors, Computer-mediated communication, Gendered violence survivors, SIDE Model, Spiral of Silence


In 2017, actress Alyssa Milano shared a tweet encouraging survivors of gendered violence to write “me too.” A media storm ensued as survivors answered her call in the millions. Anyone can look back at what survivors posted during the height of #MeToo, but we still don’t know why they felt the need to post in the first place. To answer this question, the social identity model of deindividuation effects and spiral of silence were utilized. The social identification, perceived anonymity affordances, and willingness to self-censor scales were used for this research, along with a perceived deindividuation scale that was created for this study and found reliable. Snowball recruitment focusing mainly on Reddit and other SNSs yielded 256 eligible participants. Through a quantitative survey, it was found that survivors who posted in #MeToo had stronger group identification with others posting, higher perceptions of anonymity afforded on social networking sites, and higher perceptions of deindividuation during #MeToo compared to survivors who chose not to post. Furthermore, survivors who posted had lower willingness to self-censor during #MeToo and in the present day when compared to non-posters. This lends evidentiary support to a causal relationship between posting in #MeToo and a survivor’s willingness to self-censor today.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

MeToo movement.
Social media.
Social action.
Sexual abuse victims.
Group identity.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright