Changemakers with Clare McKenna

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Seyi Akiwowo - Staying Safe Online

Season 3, Ep. 9

Seyi Akiwowo is CEO and founder of Glitch and now author of How to Stay Safe Online – A digital self care toolkit for developing resilience and allyship.

Seyi has had the most incredible journey – a force to be reckoned with she became the youngest ever black female councillor in London at the age of 22. When a video of a speech she made at the European Parliament went viral, it led to a surge in followers but also sexist and racist comments as well as death threats. This experience led Seyi to speak out about the online world, it's very much knitted in to our every day and there are so many positives, but there is so much we allow to go unregulated and unreprimanded. Seyi speaks of the digital platform as being a public space with us as digital citizens and we should protect ourselves in that space as much as we do off line.

Today we talk about Seyi moving on from that traumatic experience and pouring herself into setting up Glitch, a charity looking to end online abuse through awareness, advocacy and action. We look at the fall out of online abuse including the sobering statistic that 43% girls hold back their opinions on social media for fear of being criticised. For black women it is worse, 84% are more likely to be mentioned in an abusive or problematic comment. Online abuse causes more issues that mental health, its infringing on human rights and eroding democratic engagement. We also talk about the boundaries we ourselves have to put in place in the online world.

I saw Seyi speak a couple of years ago and was blown away by her passion and had so many AHA moments with things she was saying about digital citizenship and the online world. I've been hoping to speak to her since then and I'm so chuffed she chose to make time for this podcast to discuss her brilliant book.


For more on Glitch which is packed with info and resources click here

For more on Seyi's book How to Stay Safe Online click here

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