"An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define...or destroy you." -Ziad K. Abdelnour
NEW YORK, New York (SHAREABLEE) -- The study of ideas flowing through social networks is nothing new.
Computer scientist Alex "Sandy" Pentland, who is also known as the "grandfather of wearable technology," concluded in his book, Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science, that the structure our connections, rather than the content we exchange determines the quality of the flow of ideas. He claims that some networks – those where group members have many interactions with highly diverse people outside of the group and where the members are also highly connected to one another – are more conducive than others to the development of new ideas.
The concept that ideas travel faster when group members are "highly connected to one another" is very compelling, specifically around the #TimesUp movement because so much of the movement was shared by celebrities.
The movement was responsible for over 101 million actions from influencer and publisher posts in the month of January. While the majority of actions fell around award shows, like the Golden Globes and the Grammys, the movement also gained momentum around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the Women's March 2018.
On January 1, 2018, Hollywood celebrities started the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement in response to sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein which was largely driven by about 300 prominent actresses and musicians. The movement's announcement letter ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times and in La Opinion, expressing the stars desire to support women, men, people of color and the LGBT community who have less access to media platforms and funds to speak up about harassment.
The movement got a small bump on January 3, thanks in large part to actress Emma Watson. Watson's posts actually performed the best out of all of the artists in the first several days. She had a series of four different photos posted on January 3, which received over 1.8 million likes and comments on Instagram and accounted for 77% of the total actions generated from #TimesUp Instagram content on January 3.
While posts in the first several days of the #TimesUp campaign gained some traction, the movement only gained mainstream attention during the Golden Globes.
"For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men, but their time is up. Their time is up," said Oprah Winfrey during her speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, followed by a standing ovation.
While posts on the night of the Golden Globes received over 21 million actions from publishers and influencers, social media posts from the day after the Golden Globes, January 8, received more than twice as many actions (46 million) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The majority of these actions took place on Instagram, which accounted for 94% or 6.4 million actions between January 7-8, and 95% or 96 million actions during the entire month of January.
It's no surprise that Instagram has been the driving social media platform behind the #TimesUp movement among influencers, making Instagram a haven for celebrities. In January, the average actor or director posted 21 times on Facebook, sent out 33 Tweets and posted 19 times on Instagram. However, on Instagram, they received 14 times more engagement than Facebook and 37 times more engagement than Twitter.
The #TimesUp movement received two more bumps in actions from January 15 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and January 20 during the Women's March 2018.
Watson, again, had the top post on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, posting a quote by Marai Larasi, the director of a United Kingdom-based black and minority ethnic women's organization which works to prevent and respond to violence against marginalized European girls and women. The post received over 1.2 million actions, 85% of total actions Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Other top posts from Martin Luther King Jr. Day were from actresses Brie Larson and Jurnee Smollett.
The Women's March
In 2017, 4.2 million protesters across 600 cities donned pink hats and carried signs to promote women's and minorities rights. On January 20, 2018, millions of people, again, took to the streets, in the wake of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements.
The top two posts were from younger actresses. Actress Chloe Grace Moretz, 20, shared a photo from a rally in Park City, which received over 598 thousand actions. Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice, 24, shared a photo of her in a "GRL PWR" shirt which received over 450 thousand actions.
Other top posts ranged from Amy Schumer, Naomi Campbell to Lupita Nyong'o.
Aside from the Golden Globes, the #TimesUp movement received the largest number of actions from the Grammys.
From the red carpet to the hours after the show concluded, there were over 4.4 million actions around #Grammys. The majority of actions took place the day after the show (January 29). Thirty percent of posts specifically mentioned the Grammys.
Stars, including Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus posted photos of themselves wearing white roses or white clothing on the red carpet in solidarity with #TimesUp. During the show, Lady Gaga called out Times Up during her performance of a "Million Reasons."
Toward the end of the awards show, Kesha gave an emotional performance of her single "Praying." Janelle Monae introduced the performance with an empowering message for the Time's Up campaign.
"We come in peace, but we mean business," said Monae. " And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time's up."
Kesha was joined on stage by Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day and Julia Michaels.
Afterwards, stars shared their personal accounts of the night, mostly on Instagram.
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to be a part of a moment like this," wrote Cabello.
American musician and political activist Tom Morello wrote, "it’s SO rare in these settings to see such raw, honest, pure bravery, such authentic heartfelt passion, commitment, belief and righteous & vulnerable FURY. Before #metoo & #timesup she was out there on an island fighting the good fight without the whole world on her side. Not anymore."
#TimesUp Secret Success
The large-scale success of the Times Up campaign has been to leverage the power of celebrity influencers on social media. Connecting back to Pentland's study of how ideas are highly contagious and highly connected members are more conducive to the development of new ideas, it is no surprise celebrities have the ability to intimately connect with their fans which was positively utilized and amplified during the award shows.
With social media’s ability to allow more personal and emotional connection with fans, celebrities now have a huge influence on their fans’ ideas and beliefs, easily driving conversations and support for important movements, like the #TimesUp campaign, all around the world.