These lists have the stated purpose of warning other workers in the industry, and are shared from person-to-person, on forums, in private social media groups, and via spreadsheets.However, these lists can become "weaponized" and used to spread unsubstantiated gossip, which is being discussed widely in the media.

It's also rumored that party whips (who are in charge of getting members of Parliament to commit to votes) maintain a "black book" that contains allegations against several lawmakers that can be used for blackmail.

In response to criticism in the media, the authors defended themselves by saying they were only trying to warn their friends, had confirmed every case, and several victims from the list were poor students who had already been punished or ignored when trying to come forward.

Gender analysts such as Anna North have stated that #Me Too should be addressed as a labor issue due to the economic disadvantages to reporting harassment.

North suggested combating underlying power imbalances in some workplaces, for example by raising the tipped minimum wage, and embraces innovations like the "portable panic buttons" that are mandated for hotel employees in Seattle.

In the United States, a 2016 report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that although 25–85% of women report sexual harassment at work, few ever report the incidents, most commonly due to fear of reprisal.

There is discussion on the best ways to handle whisper networks, or private lists of "people to avoid" that are shared unofficially in nearly every major institution or industry where sexual harassment is common due to power imbalances, including government, media, news and academia.

#My Harvey Weinstein, #You Ok Sis, #What Were You Wearing and #Survivor Privilege, which The Washington Post noted were all started by black women, are prominent examples.

Burke, who is creating a documentary titled Me Too, has said she was inspired to use the phrase after being unable to respond to a 13-year-old girl who confided to her that she had been sexually assaulted.

"Me Too" (or "#Me Too", with local alternatives in other languages) spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.

The phrase, long used by social activist Tarana Burke to help survivors realize they are not alone, was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano when she encouraged women to tweet it to "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem".

Defenders say the lists provide a way to warn other people in the industry if worried about punishment or complaints have already been ignored, and also helps victims identify each other so they can speak out together.