Project Title

To Believe or Not To Believe? A Linguistic Analysis of Twitter Users' Responses to Sexual Assault Allegations Against Prominent Male Figures

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Jeanne Bohannon

My project contains a linguistic analysis, so no IRB approval was needed to conduct my research.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Due to there being minimal research available surrounding the ways in which social media is used as a tool to express opinions, I found a need existed to explore how members of society respond to sexual assault allegations through Twitter. Through a textual analysis, I will evaluate tweets made in response to sexual assault allegations against men in power roles and how these responses are influenced by specific variables. I am particularly interested in how the presentation and timing of allegations affect the public's acceptability of assault claims. For this textual analysis, I will utilize social media movements, such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as Twitter’s search feature to find remarks made about specific sexual assault cases. I am expecting to find that people will report less believability towards accusers when they are assertive in their presentation of allegations and when the timing of their allegations coincides with an important time in the life of the person accused. These findings may indicate ways in which society can better educate its members on sexual assault and the misconceptions prevalent within rape culture. Understanding how people use social media platforms to showcase their opinions on sexual assault may provide insight into how this issue can be better addressed.

Project Type

Poster

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To Believe or Not To Believe? A Linguistic Analysis of Twitter Users' Responses to Sexual Assault Allegations Against Prominent Male Figures

Due to there being minimal research available surrounding the ways in which social media is used as a tool to express opinions, I found a need existed to explore how members of society respond to sexual assault allegations through Twitter. Through a textual analysis, I will evaluate tweets made in response to sexual assault allegations against men in power roles and how these responses are influenced by specific variables. I am particularly interested in how the presentation and timing of allegations affect the public's acceptability of assault claims. For this textual analysis, I will utilize social media movements, such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as Twitter’s search feature to find remarks made about specific sexual assault cases. I am expecting to find that people will report less believability towards accusers when they are assertive in their presentation of allegations and when the timing of their allegations coincides with an important time in the life of the person accused. These findings may indicate ways in which society can better educate its members on sexual assault and the misconceptions prevalent within rape culture. Understanding how people use social media platforms to showcase their opinions on sexual assault may provide insight into how this issue can be better addressed.