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Sexual Assault Backlash Online


A 16 year old girl has become something of a hot topic on social media, but for rather unsavoury reasons.

Jada, a teenager from Houston, went to a house party with school friends. While there, she says her drink was spiked by the teenage male host. She fell unconscious, was stripped naked and allegedly raped.

Then pictures of her – bottomless, unconscious, splayed out on the floor – began to appear on social media, where they went viral.

In a case of the cruelest playground politics, other teens began shaming Jada. They mocked her pose and posted pictures of themselves mimicking it under the hashtag #Jadapose and using the message 'hit that'.

The alleged male denies the rape, calling Jada a “hoe” and saying that she "snitched". His Twitter account has since been deleted, but his friends have made fun of it and others have questioned why she didn't report the incident immediately.

Jada says she doesn’t remember anything at the party after having her drink. In fact, she didn’t know anything was wrong until friends started asking whether she was OK and she saw the images of herself being circulated online. 

But Jada has decided to waive her anonymity (telling news teams in the US that “everybody has already seen my face and my body but that’s not what I am and who I am”), taking to social media to reverse the flurry of scrutiny that she has suffered. 

The teenager posted a picture of herself holding a sign with the hastag #IAmJada, and the online support has shown that, at its core, social media can be about networking and engaging and sharing for positive purposes.

In support of the teenager, one Twitter user asked: ‘How can people be so ignorant to think rape culture doesn't exist when a 16 year olds sexual assault became a meme to replicate #jadapose’.

People have been posting pictures on social media in a show of solidarity with Jada - raising their fists and holding signs, as she did in a picture with the hashtag #iamjada. They also appear under hashtags such as #StandWithJada, #JusticeforJada and #Jadacounterpose and demand a change in rape culture, education - as well as for arrests to be made in Jada's case. They have slammed those who made fun of her and sent the photos viral.

Jada’s case certainly shows the destructive side of viral trends – it also shows how to salvage an important and dignified message and share it with the world. 

Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
Sexual Assault Backlash Online Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2014 Rating: 5
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