Tweaking Harassment Through Tweets: A Critical Discourse Study of #MeToo

Amir Akhtar, Kanglong Liu, Tahira Jabeen, Muhammad Afzaal

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The study aims to conduct an analysis of the discourse on #MeToo which the study takes to be the unmediated voice of the victims of sexual harassment to determine the ideology imbibed in the discourse. Teun A. van Dijk’s Ideology and discourse: A multidisciplinary introduction (2000) serves as the theoretical basis for the study as it attempts to categorize what constitutes harassment for the victims by looking at 3000 tweets posted over thirty days. The critical analysis of the data reveals that one of the most lacking elements in the life of the victims of sexual harassment is an acknowledgment of harassment as harassment. Most of the victims are abused, shamed and silenced when they try to share their panic experiences of life. The study shows that sexual harassment is a widespread social epidemic and can occur to a person of any age group, at any place and in any type of relationship. The study is significant as it presents the unmediated view of the victims of sexual harassment and compares it with the existing view of harassment. The significance of the study also lies in the fact that it analyzes the features of Twitter to determine their role in shaping the discourse. Previous studies on harassment talk about the issue or explore its features and types through various angles, but none of them focuses on the voice of the victims themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of English Linguistics
Issue number1
Early online date15 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • harassment
  • #MeToo
  • voice
  • perspective


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