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#MeToo as Connective Action: A Study of the Anti-Sexual Violence and Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign on Chinese Social Media in 2018

Author: Jing Zeng

In: Journalism Practice, Vol 14, No 2, 2020, pp. 171-190

This study of China’s #MeToo draws upon the theory of connective actions to investigate how digital technologies influence the way in which feminist activism takes place. The author analysed over 36,000 online articles related to the campaign, and found 48 cases of sexual violence and harassment allegations. Time series analysis show that China's #MeToo campaign first emerged within educational institutions before gradually spreading to other sectors of society. Studying the ten most controversial cases, this paper identifies a series of counter-censorship strategies. The study of how the #MeToo movement in China evolved within an authoritarian context shows how connective actions traverse various platforms and cultural contexts. Methodologically, this study demonstrates how both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to study connective actions on social media in China.