In 2017, after facing horrendous online abuse and harassment when a video of my speech at the European Parliament went viral, I founded Glitch!UK, a not-for-profit online abuse advocacy, campaigning and training organisation. Glitch!UK aims to end online abuse and harassment including online violence against women in politics. ‘Glitch’ means a temporary malfunction with equipment, and I used it for my organisation’s name because when we look back on this period in time I want us all to be able to say that the rise in online abuse and harassment was only a ‘glitch’ in our history. I was asked to be part of NDI’s Internet Governance Forum 2017 panel on the issue of online violence against women in politics, and in the months since then, I have become a public advocate for NDI’s #NotTheCost campaign, participating in three #NotTheCost events in Washington, D.C., in May.
Councillor, United Kingdom
Seyi Akiwowo was elected as the youngest black female councillor in Newham. She is a London School of Economics graduate, a fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts and has had eight successful years working in the policy, politics and sustainable development sectors in the UK and abroad including Kuwait, Istanbul, UAE, Prague, Brussels, India and Bosnia. Seyi is extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion, democracy and social cohesion. She provides critical pieces on current affairs as well as consults and provides various training workshops on skills, integration and widening participation of diverse groups in public life and local government. Seyi founded Glitch!UK, a not-for-profit online abuse advocacy, campaigning and training organisation after facing horrendous online abuse and harassment when a video of her speech at the European Parliament went viral last year. Through Glitch!UK, Seyi lobbies social media companies and decision makers and has also published a recommendations report. Seyi has spoken on the Amnesty International #ToxicTwitter campaign on online abuse against women as well as at the UN in Geneva and in Washington, D.C., with National Democratic Institute on the online violence politically active women face.