In the past, being suspected of being a witch could cost you your life. During the 15th-17th centuries, an estimated 20 to 50,000 people (mostly women) were killed because of witchcraft accusations. Even today, every year, thousands of people – women, children, people with disabilities, and albinos – are accused of witchcraft and subjected to banishment, torture and murder around the world.
In July 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a long-awaited resolution condemning human rights violations associated with witchcraft accusations.
Yet, in other contexts, and especially on social media, witches have never been so popular. On Instagram, the hashtag #witchesofinstagram has more than eight million posts. On TikTok, videos tagged #WitchTok have surpassed 21 billion views. Behind such online content, there are people – women, but also members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people of colour and from other marginalised groups – who proudly identify as witches.
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