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Allegations of sexual assault must be tried in court, not by #MeToo Twitter vigilantes

Lorraine Courtney


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Tried and convicted: Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. AP Photo/John Minchillo

Tried and convicted: Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. AP Photo/John Minchillo

Tried and convicted: Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. AP Photo/John Minchillo

Over the past few days, there have been quite a few young Irish women sharing their experiences of harassment and assault under the now familiar hashtag, #MeToo. Some tell a specific story of a sexual assault, some of rape, of emotional abuse or the secret recording by sexual partners. Lots of these women name the perpetrators.

Night after night we scrolled through our Twitter feed to see familiar names mentioned and the frenzy that followed was wild - people do care when there is an alleged rapist among their midst.

It's brave to speak out, to tell others you have been wronged. But those stories, the naming of abusers, and the male Twitter user who urged his followers to "keep tabs" on one alleged abuser's account made me feel very uncomfortable too.