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Information Cascades and Sexual Harassment Claims

On the topic of sexual harassment claims and the spread of claims, we see a dramatic change in how society perceives these claims This article, written by the Financial Times’ Gillian Tett, highlights the idea that sexual harassment claims would not have been spread as easily until recently. She points to the use of technology and the easy spread of information and Donald Trump as the main causes of this spread. Technology makes it much easier for women to get their story out to the public. Trump has unexpectedly empowered feminists and more women have gotten involved in politics. Due to these two causes, more women seem to feel “emboldened” to speak out on sexual harassment. From the article, Reah Bravo, who has accused Charlie Rose this week, observes: “It has taken . . . a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to recognize these moments for what they were.”

This relates to what we’ve discussed in class in terms of information cascades and how they are structured. Women who want to come out with their claims can’t see what made other women choose to speak out, but can see their decision to and can see the results of other women speaking out, especially now that there seem to be serious consequences for those in the acting industry. Therefore, there is a much higher chance a woman will speak out and that they will see action being taken.


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