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Digitized Narratives Of Sexual Violence: Making Sexual Violence Felt And Known Through Digital Disclosures

Kaitlynn Mendes, Jessalynn Keller, Jessica Ringrose

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In this article, we argue that social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter have facilitated an emergence of “digitized narratives” of sexual violence. These narratives are rooted in historical ways in which feminists have discursively articulated sexual violence, yet are shaped by distinctive “platform vernacular” or the conventions, affordances, and restrictions of the platforms in which they appear. Drawing on a qualitative content and critical discourse analysis of 450 texts from the Tumblr site Who Needs Feminism? and the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported, we argue that digital platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter produce new vernacular practices which shape how “digitized narratives” of sexual violence are not only disclosed and known, but felt and experienced across digital networks.