Book section Open Access

Movement or debate? How #MeToo is framed differently in English, Spanish and German Twitter discourse

Mario Bisiada

This article examines 1,353 tweets on #MeToo in English, Spanish and German from July and August 2019, revealing how #MeToo is most commonly referred to as a “movement” in English and Spanish but as a “debate” in German, a difference that echoes German-language press habits. Based on an analysis of semantic prosody, the study demonstrates that words indicating longevity such as “era” and “times” collocate with #MeToo in English and Spanish, but not in German. This points to a framing of #MeToo as influential and long-term in English and Spanish and as exaggerated and short-term in German. Reflecting this difference, #MeToo is talked about in more negative terms in German tweets compared to English and Spanish, as shown by a qualitative analysis of evaluative author stance. The study adds to existing knowledge of the power of hashtags for feminist social media activism by highlighting the importance of (cross-)linguistic corpus-assisted discourse studies of hashtags on social media, which helps understand the ways in which anti-feminist discourse taps into the channelling of emotions through hashtags to undermine cross-national women’s movements.


Files (235.9 kB)
Name Size
235.9 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 4040
Downloads 2828
Data volume 6.6 MB6.6 MB
Unique views 3838
Unique downloads 2626


Cite as