The world reacts to Harvey Weinstein verdict

Just seconds after a jury in New York delivered its verdict finding Harvey Weinstein guilty of two counts of sexual assault, social media was flooded with reactions to the decision.

Celebrities, public figures and several women who had accused the disgraced Hollywood producer aired their views, with many hailing those who spoke up against him as "heroes".

Weinstein faces almost three decades behind bars when he is sentenced on March 11.

Had he not been acquitted of three of the most serious charges he faced - two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count of first-degree rape - he would have been looking at the prospect of life imprisonment. 

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, but the charges against him were based on accusations from only two women: aspiring actor Jessica Mann, who said he raped her in a hotel in 2013, and former production assistant Miriam Haley - who recently changed her name legally from Mimi Haleyi - who said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.  Testimony from another actress, Annabella Sciorra, who said she was raped by Weinstein in the 1990s, was also used to give credence to the others' claims.

Author and activist Naomi Klein called the women who spoke out against Weinstein "heroes".

"I am so grateful to all the women who risked their safety and well being to tell the truth about Harvey Weinstein, his enablers and protectors," Klein wrote on Twitter. "They are heroes. So are the people who tirelessly reported this story. I feared for the worst and am so glad to be wrong."

Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, who first broke in the Weinstein scandal in the New Yorker magazine, also paid tribute to the women who came forward.

"Today's outcome in Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial is the result of the decisions of multiple women to come forward to journalists and to prosecutors at great personal cost and risk. Please keep those women in your thoughts today."

The accusations against Weinstein were a key factor in fuelling the #MeToo movement, in which women across the globe spoke out against sexual misconduct by powerful men. 

A statement posted on the official #MeToo website said the guilty verdict: "wouldn't have been possible without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside of the courtroom, the survivors who courageously testified, and the jurors who, despite an unrelenting and unethical defense strategy, voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty".

"Harvey Weinstein operated with impunity and without remorse for decades in Hollywood. Yet, it still took years, and millions of voices raised, for one man to be held accountable by the justice system."

Democratic senator Ilhan Omar also weighed in, calling the verdict "a victory for brave survivors".

Two of Weinstein's accusers also spoke up, including actress Ashley Judd, one of the first women to go on record with her claims.

"For the women who testified in this case, and walked through traumatic hell, you did a public service to girls and women everywhere, thank you," she wrote on Twitter.

Another accuser, Italian actress and director Asia Argento, also shared her thoughts.

"Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist," she wrote on Instagram.

"Thank you to the judge and jury in NYC."

Actor and filmmaker Judd Apatow took to Twitter to remind people that Weinstein's court time wasn't over yet.

"Don't forget," he wrote, "Harvey Weinstein faces four more charges in Los Angeles. This is just the beginning of holding him accountable."