The XX Factor

New York Magazine’s Cosby Cover Inspires a Great Twitter Hashtag: #TheEmptyChair

Courtesy of New York magazine

Late Sunday evening, New York magazine commanded what seemed like the entire Internet’s attention with the collected stories and portraits of 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. As New York’s Noreen Malone and Amanda Demme put it, the women are “an unwelcome sisterhood.” For the magazine’s cover, each of the women was photographed seated in a chair and gazing into the camera; the last chair sits empty, symbolizing all the women who can’t come forward with their stories.

As of early Monday morning, the magazine’s website had undergone a distributed denial of service attack; the site is still down as of this writing, but an archived version is available here. It’s unclear what the hacker’s motivation is, but the coincidental timing couldn’t be more appallingly apt, given the culture of silence and shame that journalism like Malone and Demme’s is trying to change. To combat the still mysterious censor of New York and to offer support to all survivors of sexual assault, Twitter users began using the hashtag #TheEmptyChair. Below is just a sampling of the countless messages so far. To see more, click here.