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Watch How #MeToo Caught Fire Around The World, In Real Time

Thanks to Google Trends data, we can see how a movement went global.

Watch How #MeToo Caught Fire Around The World, In Real Time
Explore the complete graphic here. [Screenshot: Google]

On October 5, 2017, the New York Times reported that the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had been sexually harassing women–and getting away with it–for decades. The story was the first trickle of a coming flood: Women came forward en masse, speaking up about how powerful men had harassed and abused them, contributing to what’s now known as the #MeToo movement.

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In the past six months, #MeToo has reverberated across industries and has reached around the globe–a shockwave strikingly represented in Google Trends’ latest interactive graphic. Called “Me Too Rising,” it follows the search patterns after that fateful week in October and shows how the movement spread across the globe.

Explore the complete graphic here. [Screenshot: Google]

As a muted cacophony of voices play in the background, you can click around different cities on a darkened globe, and then play with the timeline at bottom of the interactive, which moves chronologically from that fateful October day to the present. Cities light up to indicate where #MeToo was trending at that moment.

When you pick a point in time–say the first week of January 2018–the interactive will then bring you to all the different cities where #MeToo was the talk of the internet, at least according to Google search. That was the week several prominent Hollywood women including Shonda Rhimes and Reese Witherspoon launched their initiative, Time’s Up, targeted at sexual harassment in their industry. Meanwhile, prominent Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stating that the movement was “long overdue” prompted buzz in Lagos. In Cairo, a story about harassment during the Egyptian revolution was at the top of search results.

It’s harder to see the moments when particular countries or cities faced their own reckonings–given how connected the world is, news about Hollywood’s latest revelation is usually trending in Turkey and Japan, too. Six months on, the buzz is starting to die down, with trend lines now far below their peaks last fall. Nonetheless, #MeToo has rocked the established world order–and now, we can see exactly how its early days played out.

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About the author

Katharine Schwab is an associate editor based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture.

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