This is who the elbow of Time's Person of the Year cover belongs to

Time magazine has paid tribute to the #MeToo movement by naming the "silence breakers" as its Person of the Year - although, of course, this is not just one person but many who have spoken out in recent months against the deeply entrenched and excused culture of sexual harassment in industries from entertainment to politics to agriculture.

As the cover image and accompanying story has circulated around the internet, people have begun to question the decision to crop out the face of one of the women in the cover image.

Some people wondered whether it was an "error", while others assumed the image was a fold-out.

In fact, as Time national correspondent Charlotte Alter explained in an interview with BuzzFeed's morning news show AM to DM, the decision was "very intentional".

"That's an anonymous woman who is a hospital worker who was experiencing harassment and didn't feel that she could come forward," Alter said.

Her inclusion on the cover, alongside pop star Taylor Swift, actor Ashley Judd, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu and Isabel Pascual, a farm worker from Mexico who requested a pseudonym, is an important reminder of the many women who can only speak out on the condition of anonymity; those who remain effectively silenced.

Alter emphasised the importance of including the stories of women who chose to remain anonymous. "A huge part of this story is that, as much as the stigma around this has been removed this year because of the Me Too movement, it's still really difficult for a lot of women to come forward," she said.

The image is reminiscent of the July 2015 cover of the New Yorker, in which 35 of Bill Cosby's accusers were photographed alongside an empty chair, meant to represent the rest of the women who had accused Cosby but who hadn't gone public with their identities.

As they did for the New Yorker cover, social media users have lauded the inclusion of the anonymous individual on the cover and what it represents.

This story This is who the elbow of Time's Person of the Year cover belongs to first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.