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#NotOkay: Stories About Abuse on Instagram and Twitter


Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram have recently been used as venues for discussing abusive relationships and sexual violence. This study examines the ways in which social media users and how Twitter and Instagram users engaged with these posts by analyzing 500 Twitter and 500 Instagram posts focused on #NotOkay using a quantitative content analysis. There were marked differences between the posts on the two platforms as well as between engagement with these posts: Instagram overall elicited a higher median level of engagement than Twitter as well as more frequent expressions of social support; in addition, #NotOkay posts on Instagram were more likely to focus on specific acts of sexual assault. On Twitter, posts that included expressions of instrumental social support produced higher engagement. However, mentioning sexual assault produced higher engagement on both platforms. Providers and other interacting with sexual assault survivors should be aware of how these types of violence may be framed and expressed by different populations on different social media platforms.

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