UK charity, Glitch, Stands Up To Hate with anti-hate charities

For immediate release

Today, Glitch, the UK’s leading digital citizenship charity, is launching a campaign with Twitter and ten other charities. This is the first time Twitter is actively using auto-replies to encourage positive behaviour on the social media platform, and the first time that Twitter UK has launched a campaign focused on digital citizenship in collaboration with charities. 

Glitch, the UK’s leading charity digital citizenship charity, is partnering with ten other charities and Twitter to encourage people to play their parts as digital citizens as part of a #StandUpToHate campaign launched today. This campaign comes at a critical time for the country, with further local lockdown measures announced yesterday. 

The campaign #StandUpToHate uses an auto-reply format that will provide Twitter users with guidance to practice digital citizenship when they ‘like’ the promoted tweet. Users are also prompted to share #StandUpToHate tweets to keep the important conversation going.

Glitch Founder and Executive Director, Seyi Akiwowo, said:

“We are proud to take part in the #StandUpToHate campaign as a critical friend to Twitter and whilst we continue to work with Twitter to make its platform safer for all users. As we continue to push for systemic change from the government, social media companies and employers, it’s important that we continue to raise awareness of the individual actions that people can take to support those experiencing online abuse. 

“Black women are 84% more likely to receive abusive tweets. Without action, this will get worse as we spend more time online. Our latest report The Ripple Effect: Covid-19 and the Epidemic of Online Abuse showed that March’s lockdown led to an increase in online abuse. With further local lockdown measures announced yesterday and the possibility of more regions being restricted with physical socialisation in the coming weeks and months, we can’t allow this trajectory of Black and minoritised women suffering disproportionate levels of online abuse to continue. During Hate Crime Awareness week, Black History Month and beyond, we must continue working towards making the online space safe for all.” 

Glitch’s Covid-19 report, The Ripple Effect: Covid-19 and the Epidemic of Online Abuse, shows that there has been an increase in online abuse, especially for Black and minoritised women, since the UK’s national lockdown in March. 

/Ends 

Notes for editors 

  • For more information, please contact Lauren Pemberton-Nelson at lauren@fixtheglitch.org or on 07950899316
  • Glitch is a UK based charity (1187714)  recognised internationally for working to make the online space safe for all by raising awareness of online abuse and its impact through an intersectional lens. Glitch campaigns for long term and systematic change from tech companies and governments and champions digital citizenship through the delivery of a range of resources and workshops on digital citizenship, digital self care and safety of which over 4000 people have participated in. Glitch is a charity working towards ending online abuse, increasing digital citizenship and aiming to “fix the glitch” in our digital space. We run workshops across the country on digital citizenship, digital resilience and digital self care, of which over 3,500 young people, and 100 individuals in public life have participated in. Last year GlitchWe also have presented to the 28th UN Human Rights Council on Online Violence Against Women.
  • Glitch will be redirecting people to the A Little Means A Lot page, which has four steps that people can take to support those experiencing online abuse, which can be found here

Key findings from Glitch’s Covid-19 report include: 

  • Almost 1 in 2 (46%) women and non binary people reported experiencing online abuse since the beginning of COVID-19’s lockdown.
  • 1 in 3 (29%) of those who had experienced online abuse prior to the pandemic reported it being worse during COVID-19.
  • 84% of respondents experienced online abuse from strangers – accounts that they did not know prior to the incident(s).
  • Most of the abuse took place on mainstream social media platforms (Twitter 65%, Facebook 29%, Instagram 18%) despite tech companies’ commitments to making their platforms safe and addressing gender-based and intersectional abuse. Gender was the most often cited reason for online abuse, with 48% of respondents reported suffering from gender-based online violence.

Online abuse during Covid: New survey finds almost half of women and non binary people have experienced online abuse during pandemic

Call on Government and tech companies to step up on content moderation, transparency, investment and education;
Women reveal the impact of online abuse and how complaints are ignored;
Black women and non binary people experience highest victimisation
 
Glitch, the UK’s leading charity against online abuse, and the End Violence Against Women Coalition, (EVAW), today (8 September) publish a new report and survey results which include the largest dataset yet gathered on the gendered experience of abuse online during Covid.
 
As people have moved their working and social lives online over the last six months, the charities found that almost half of women and non-binary people have experienced online abuse since March 2020 – and, a third of these say the abuse has been worse in this period. Black women and non binary people experience even higher rates of victimisation.
 
Glitch and EVAW also found that most of the abuse is taking place on mainstream social media platforms – especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and that women and non-binary people say they can feel these places to be hostile and modify their behaviour in these spaces.
 
Key findings include: 

  • Almost 1 in 2 (46%) women and non binary people reported experiencing online abuse since the beginning of COVID-19
  • 1 in 3 (29%) of those who had experienced online abuse prior to the pandemic reported it being worse during COVID-19
  • 84% of respondents experienced online abuse from strangers – accounts that they did not know prior to the incident(s).
  • Most of the abuse took place on mainstream social media platforms (Twitter 65%, Facebook 29%, Instagram 18%) despite tech companies’ commitments to making their platforms safe and addressing gender-based and intersectional abuse
  • Gender was the most often cited reason for online abuse, with 48% of respondents reported suffering from gender-based online violence 

The report includes testimonials from women and non binary people impacted by online abuse:

“Nothing ever changes. I report lots of violent images and sexist abuse. It feels like the moderators are sexist too, as they allow it…There’s so much porn and violence against women and girls that it feels like a place where women aren’t treated as humans. We’re guests in a male space.”

Another stated:
 I definitely feel my performance at work has suffered and I feel at risk of sanction or not having my contract renewed due to the impact on my ability to focus and my mental health,”

One respondent wrote “I felt afraid and vulnerable.” Another said “It does make me anxious and angry,”.  “It’s made me so anxious, I am still on anti-depressants and if [social media] wasn’t used to connect to some good voices and work, I would leave.”

The full survey findings have been published in their new 77pp report, The Ripple Effect: Covid-19 and the Epidemic of Online AbuseGlitch and EVAW are also writing to tech companies and Government ministers with recommendations and asking to meet and discuss action plans soon.

Call on tech companies, Government and employers:
Glitch and EVAW are calling on the tech companies, whose profits have increased dramatically during the pandemic, to massively step up concrete efforts on content moderation, transparency about the complaints they receive and what they remove, and to invest in digital education programmes and research as well as a public health approach to tackling online harms.

The charities are also calling on the Government to get online harms policy development back on track, and make a higher priority of this area of real harm and its impacts; and on employers to take their responsibility to workers’ health and safety seriously even when they are working from home.

Glitch founder and director, Seyi Akiwowo said: 
“The shocking results detailed in our Covid-19 survey highlight how important it is for everyone to play their part in making online spaces safe for all our necessity to respond. To effectively tackle online abuse there needs to be interventions in three key areas. Firstly, the Government needs a comprehensive public health approach to address online abuse. Secondly, there is an urgent need for greater financial investment from government, tech companies and employers in research, digital health and safety and digital citizenship education programmes and research. Thirdly, tech companies need to be more effective and transparent in their content moderation methods and policies. 

“We’ve seen bedrooms and kitchens turn into offices. With many likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future, it’s crucial that online abuse, which disproportionately impacts women and non-binary people, is taken seriously.” 

Marsha de Cordova MP, Shadow Women & Equalities Minister who will speak at the launch of the report says:
“I welcome this report from Glitch and the End Violence Against Women coalition although it is deeply concerning to see yet more evidence of the abuse women face in mainstream online sites, especially those from Black, Asian and minority communities. Online abuse is always unacceptable, that it rose so sharply during the lockdown – while not surprising – is deeply worrying and more should be done to ensure that these levels of abuse do not become the accepted norm.”

EVAW Director Sarah Green said:
“People understood from the early days that lockdown and covid isolation are a terrible context for domestic abuse and that this has needed special attention. There is still a long way to go here.

“What our survey findings show is that women have sadly also been targetd for abusive treatment online through the pandemic. Women have talked about a strong sense of online spaces being male spaces where they are either tolerated guests or experience hostility.

“The survey findings should be a wake up call now as to what Covid has led to online for women and what needs to change. During the pandemic millions of have moved our working and social lives ever more online. Are we really going to replicate the way physical public spaces for centuries were constructed as men’s spaces? No. And it is on the tech companies principally to radically intervene in and disrupt this now, and on the Government to insist on this expectation.”

Rosie Carter,  HOPE not hate said:
“This important report from Glitch highlights the intersectional nature of online abuse. HOPE not hate charitable trust’s research has shown how the overlay of white supremacy with male supremacy has gained traction over recent years, particularly among young men, with many rejecting feminism as an ideology that ‘suppresses men’.

“The anti-feminist movement has crept beyond the anonymous, dark and strange corners of the internet, with a mixture of free speech, race and gender science, misogyny and anti-feminism serving as an effective platform for recruitment for young, predominantly white, men. Many young men feeling insecure or voiceless are pushing back against a drop in the status of the one asset they feel entitled to be secure in – their male identity, with BME women most likely to be on the receiving end.”

Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair, TIME’S UP UK said:
“Once again, as this vital research from Glitch so starkly shows, women, particularly those most marginalised and disadvantaged, are at the sharp end of abuse not only in the home but in the virtual online space too, black women and non binary people experiencing the highest victimisation. At TIME’S UP UK we are dedicated to finding ways to stamp out abuse of all kinds and so we support the recommendations put forward from the report and call on Government and tech companies to step up on content moderation, transparency, investment and education to address these inequalities.”

Bryony Beynon, Managing Director, Good Night Out Campaign, said:
“As the pandemic has forced our leisure time and nightlife online, it’s unfortunate but unsurprising that harassment has followed suit. As this report demonstrates, online abuse has a devastating impact on those who are targeted, and that people who are already marginalised see the harshest forms of trolling as punishment just for existing on the internet.

During lockdown, we partnered with Queer House Party, an online party run by the Outside Project who provide LGBTQ+ youth homeless shelter and domestic violence refuge, to create a toolkit to challenge and prevent ‘Zoombombing’ during online parties. There are lots of simple ways to reduce access, but we must also challenge the attitudes underpinning these behaviours. Everyone deserves a safer space to party, whether physical or digital, free from the risk of Covid and online harassment.”

Adrian Lovett, President and CEO of the Web Foundation said:
“We join this urgent call for companies and governments to take action against online gender-based and intersectional violence, and believe strongly in the need for tech companies and governments to consult women’s organisations in developing solutions. The Web Foundation is pleased to work closely with Glitch on closing the digital gender gap, and support this report’s efforts to measure the true extent of the harm done by online gender-based violence during the Covid pandemic.”

Online launch and discussion event with Shadow Sec of State, TUC, HOPE not hate, Glitch and EVAW will be holding a report launch on 8th September 12-1pm via zoom to discuss the report’s key findings. Speakers are:

  • Marsha de Cordova MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities
  • Sian Elliot, Policy Officer, TUC
  • Rosie Carter, Research Officer, HOPE Not Hate
  • Sarah Green, Director of EVAW
  • Seyi Akiwowo, Director and Founder of Glitch

This is the result of a survey conducted from 12th June 2020 to 12th July 2020 which received nearly 500 contributions from women and non-binary people into how Covid-19 had impacted their use of the online space. 

Ends 

Notes for editors 

  • For more information, please contact Lauren Pemberton-Nelson at lauren@fixtheglitch.org or on 07950899316
  • Glitch is a UK based charity (1187714)  recognised internationally for working to make the online space safe for all by raising awareness of online abuse and its impact through an intersectional lens. Glitch campaigns for long term and systematic change from tech companies and governments and champions digital citizenship through the delivery of a range of resources and workshops on digital citizenship, digital self care and safety of which over 4000 people have participated in. Glitch is a charity working towards ending online abuse, increasing digital citizenship and aiming to “fix the glitch” in our digital space. We run workshops across the country on digital citizenship, digital resilience and digital self care, of which over 3,500 young people, and 100 individuals in public life have participated in. Last year GlitchWe also have presented to the 28th UN Human Rights Council on Online Violence Against Women. 
  • The End Violence Against Women Coalition is the UK’s largest coalition of organisations working to eradicate violence against women and girls; members include Fawcett Society, Forward, Imkaan, Jewish Women’s Aid, London Black Women’s Project, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Refuge, Respect, Southall Black Sisters, Standing Together, Women in Prison, Women’s Aid, WRC, The Women’s Institute and the TUC. The EVAW Coalition is a registered charity number 1161132. www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk
  • Other key figures from the report: 
  • The experience of online abuse had a strong impact on respondents’ behaviour and feelings towards using online technology and social media. 77% of respondents reported modifying their behaviour online as a result of the abuse, and 72% reported feeling differently about using technology and social media. This increased for women and non-binary individuals of colour. 
  • 83% of respondents who reported one or several incidents of online abuse during COVID-19 felt their complaint(s) had not been properly addressed. This proportion increased for Black and minoritised women and non-binary people.  
  • Only 9% of respondents received updated training from their employer on how to stay safe online while working from home, and 64% of those who did not receive any training felt that appropriate training would have been useful. 
  • The full report, including methodology and an appendix with the full list of survey questions, will be published here on 8th September: https://fixtheglitch.org/covid19/ 
  • The signup for the report launch can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/report-launch-the-ripple-effect-covid-19-and-the-epidemic-of-online-abuse-tickets-118510615441

If you thought online abuse was bad, then COVID-19 has made it a whole lot worse

COVID-19 has led to an epidemic of online abuse, putting women and minorities at risk. We need to do more to tackle the proliferation of tech-facilitated harms.

In mid-March, hospitalised COVID-19 patient Tara Jane Langston filmed a video on her phone warning of the danger of under-estimating the threat of the virus. The video of the young woman struggling to breathe was shared with a group of friends on WhatsApp, before making its way to Twitter, where it went viral. Within minutes, Tara’s family was flooded with abusive messages from around the world. A few days later, a global Muslim network of civil society organisations held a Zoom call about maintaining spirituality during coronavirus, when abusive messages and racial slurs started appearing on screen.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption to everyday lives across the world in the last few weeks, leading to long called-for lifestyle changes, including widespread shift to remote working. Living rooms, kitchen tables and gardens turned into improvised workplaces, while sociability for millions took the shape of Friday night drinks on Zoom and virtual pub quizzes. In the space of a few days, our lives largely moved online. In the early days of the pandemic, countries in lockdown across the world saw an increase in Internet usage of between 12 and 15%. Increased time spent online has multiplied opportunities for online abuse and harassment, against a backdrop of thriving online conspiracy theories and disinformation about the pandemic.

Before COVID-19, we – alongside other activists and researchers – documented how the Internet became a toxic place for women and marginalised communities. One in five women has suffered from online abuse in the UK, according to a study by Amnesty International, while an investigation by BBC Newsnight last year uncovered widespread abuse against female activists, politicians, and journalists across Europe. Black female MPs are also 84% more likely to experience online abuse in comparison to white women. As our lives have moved to the digital space, we need to be better prepared to respond to the heightened risk of abuse faced by women and marginalised communities. 

Firstly, reliable data on the scale of the problem remains scarce. Beyond the headlines, we do not know the true scale of the problem. Across the world, we have seen an increase of domestic violence (which often involves abuse via technology). In the UK women’s refuges have seen an exponential increase in calls for help. But beyond headlines and high profile cases of abuse and harassment, the true scale of the problem remains misunderstood. Reliable data about the scale and extent of gender-based online abuse in times of COVID-19 is severely lacking. We are responding to this data by launching a new survey into the online experiences of women and non-binary people. 

Understanding the problem is the first step in mounting an adequate response. Not only is the problem misunderstood, but we are also lacking resources and are ill-prepared to tackle the issue. The Internet is a fast-evolving space, and COVID-19 has shown how tech vulnerabilities can be easily exploited by ill-intentioned actors to abuse and harass vulnerable groups. Platforms whose user base has grown as a result of the pandemic – including the ubiquitous Zoom or Google Hangouts – have become hubs for new forms of online abuse.  “Zoom Bombing” – the publication of violent, graphic, racist or otherwise abusive content – on the video conferencing app Zoom, has been one of the unforeseen consequences of the pandemic. 

Tech companies are several steps behind in their response. In early April, Zoom CEO issued an apology for the platform’s security lapses and announced new measures after the company’s shares fell. Tech companies have vowed to do more to tackle the online harms created by COVID-19, including combatting disinformation. As human content moderation resources have been axed for health reasons, and tech companies have come to rely more on AI, there is potential for abusers and malign actors to exploit the platforms’ vulnerabilities. 

We need tech companies to do more and invest more in content moderation, but the government also has a role to play to prevent the proliferation of online abuse. Education to digital safety, more needed than ever, remains under-funded and needs increased resources, as different professional sectors adapt to the realities of doing business online. As recent reports of sexual harassment by students on their fellow classmates have shown, UK schools are universities are struggling to cope with the new risks posed by online teaching. Employers who have had to negotiate transitions to remote working, are ill-prepared to protect employees from online harms. 

The government has a responsibility to provide guidance to employers on how to keep employees safe while working from home, and adopt legislation that enhances employee safety. So far, the UK has not ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190, which sets out a framework to eliminate violence and harassment in the workplace. 

Tech abuse can no longer be an unintended consequence of engaging with online spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic will impact our society for years to come. With social distancing fast becoming the new normal, we will continue to rely on social media and the Internet more for every day’s activities. Online safety can no longer be an afterthought.

Complete our survey on the gendered impact of Covid19 now

Glitch calls for social media companies to respond to Black Lives Matter through new content controls

Today Glitch is calling for social media companies to change their settings in light of the recent proliferation of violent images on their platforms.

Videos and images capturing the brutalisation of Black people are being posted frequently on social media sites. Some social media companies have basic settings which users can implement that are meant to control the display of violent material. However, in recent weeks these settings have failed as images of both Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara’s violent arrest and George Floyd’s murder are still circulating on social media without warnings or options to pre-filter this content.

To push for action, today Glitch formally launches a petition in partnership with Change.org urging social media companies to provide greater controls on violent content through the blurring of violent images, and warning users that the content they are about to see may be graphic.

Instagram has implemented this feature on their stories. However, Instagram posts, Facebook stories and posts, Twitter posts and TikTok content all lack these settings.

Glitch Founder and Executive Director, Seyi Akiwowo said:

“Being continuously exposed, without consent or warning, to the last moment’s of Black people’s lives is incredibly disturbing and unsafe for all users, particularly Black communities. Research has shown a quarter of people who see content of violent events develop symptoms of PTSD.”

“As Glitch, a charity dedicated to making the online space safe, we’re calling on all tech companies to better serve Black communities online, not only bombarded by traumatic and graphic content but also dealing with disproportionate amounts of online abuse and violence. . Tech companies must fulfill their duty to protect their users’ welfare by blurring and warning users about graphic content that they’re about to see. ”

“We at Glitch champion digital citizenship- digital rights as well as digital responsibility and that includes all social media companies playing their part. That’s why we are calling on tech companies to take responsibility on their platform and ensure all users are safe by moving towards safety by design then just design for profit.
“Giving all users greater control of their online experiences is a step in the right direction. Just as there are efforts to keep users safe from beheadings, terrorist attacks and animal cruelty, we are calling on tech comapnies to give users a choice about whether we want to engage with images of the brutalisation of Black people or not.

“Social media companies have a responsibility toward their users and to our society as a whole. We need action from these platforms urgently to respect the lives of Black people, because of Black Lives Matter.”

/Ends

Notes for editors
For more information, please contact Casey Calista at caseycalista@gmail.com or on 07419 989055

The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/BLMonlinetoo

Full details of Glitch’s work around Black Lives Matter can be found here: fixtheglitch.org/BLM

Glitch is a charity working towards ending online abuse, increasing digital citizenship and aiming to “fix the glitch” in our digital space. We run workshops across the country on digital citizenship, digital resilience and digital self care, of which over 3,500 young people, and 100 individuals in public life have participated in. We also have presented to the 28th UN Human Rights Council on Online Violence Against Women.

Glitch’s written evidence on the impact of Covid-19

Glitch, as part of The Centenary Action Group (CAG), has submitted written evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into COVID-19 and the impact on people with protected characteristics. The CAG is a cross-party campaigning coalition representing over 100 activists, politicians and women’s rights organisations working together to eradicate the barriers that prevent a diverse range of women from taking part in the decisions that affect their lives. Alongside Glitch, members include the Fawcett Society, Women for Refugee Women, Girlguiding and political party affiliated women’s groups.

The impacts of COVID-19 are likely to have disproportionate effects on women & exacerbate intersectional inequalities in both the short and long-term. Policymakers must consult with a range of women’s organisations and include women in response and recovery decision-making, centring the experiences of women with multiple protected characteristics, such race, disability and religion.

CAG’s recommendations to the government address domestic violence, healthcare, sex-disaggregated data, economic impact, the position of migrant women, women in immigration detention and Glitch’s focus; online abuse.

Online Abuse
The use of digital spaces has increased significantly in light of COVID-19, and with it has come reports of an increase in abuse and harassment online. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2017 online poll by Amnesty International found that one in five women in the UK had suffered online abuse or harassment. It is also well-established that online abuse disproportionately affects women with intersecting identities whereby female politicians and journalists of colour were found to be 34 percent more likely receive abuse on Twitter than their white counterparts. New trends of targeted online abuse and harassment have been reported as more people spend time online. For example, there has been a rise in ‘zoombombing’, whereby “uninvited attendees share hateful and graphic material, often including pornographic, racist and anti-Semitic images in Zoom video conferences”. This requires the sociotechnical vulnerabilities of new and emerging tech platforms to be urgently assessed and the collection of data for such reports of online harassment. This should be conducted by tech platforms and monitored by government.

Research by Girlguiding shows that online abuse and harassment is an issue that particularly affects girls and young women. 50% of girls aged 11-21 think sexism is worse online than it is offline (2016), and 25% of girls and young women aged 11-21 had threatening things said about them on social media (2018). Given this, in the current situation, girls and young women are at a higher risk of experiencing harassment and abuse online and could be exposed to unwanted sexual imagery and harmful content.

Glitch is calling on the government to address online abuse against women through education, enforcement of existing laws and policies and to empower civil society organisations in the upcoming Online Harms Bill. Glitch also supports Lord McNally’s private members bill and amendment to the Online Harms White Paper to include ‘hatred by sex’ as part of the definition of ‘online harm’ presented in the Online Harms white paper. Government earlier this year already made a commitment to this.

With many people now transitioning to remote working online, swift efforts must also be taken to address potential vectors for harassment and abuse online in the online workplace. Accordingly, the government should implement the International Labour Organisation Convention 190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. Furthermore, companies need to implement their own strategies relating to online harassment and domestic abuse.

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First UK charity to hold online party – put on by digital citizenship organisation Glitch

Glitch, the UK’s leading charity against online abuse, is set to become one of the first charities in the UK to hold an online party for supporters in light of the lockdown restrictions.

On Monday 13th at 3pm, Glitch will be holding an online party for supporters to celebrate their achievements over the past three years. 

Focusing on ending online abuse, championing digital citizenship and holding tech companies to account, Glitch is using this birthday party as an opportunity for its audience and supporters to also see how the internet can bring people together and be used for positivity during this time. The use of digital spaces has increased significantly in light of Covid-19, digital citizenship is more important than ever before, and Glitch is leading on this by presenting fun, but practical ways of connecting digitally whilst practicing good digital citizenship. 

Glitch runs workshops equipping people with the skills they need for digital citizenship, with 99% of participants saying that they would recommend their workshop to someone else, and over 70% of respondents felt confident using tools and systems to protect themselves online. 

Glitch Gounder and Executive Director, Seyi Akiwowo, said “We are proud to celebrate the achievements that Glitch has made over the past three years – from training thousands of people on digital citizenship to presenting at the United Nations. 

“The internet can be an immense force for good. We are excited to be one of the first charities to host this type of event. We’re also developing our response to covid-19 and continuing to work on other digital events including workshops and discussions highlighting the positive impacts of technology with good digital citizenship.” 

Supporters joining the online celebrations will also have the opportunity to chat with the Glitch team and listen to some great music on the bank holiday. DJ Tomiwa will be playing music requests for guests. DJ Tomiwa is a British-Nigerian DJ who prides himself on versatility. Since starting his DJing journey in 2012, he has rocked countless crowds of varying ages and backgrounds, including large concerts and international events, with over one million plays on Youtube.

Glitch reacts to announcement of Ofcom becoming the social media regulator

Glitch welcomes the announcement of Ofcom being given more powers to regulate social media. We hope that this is the first step in the government committing more to do more to end online abuse and improve digital spaces. 

Glitch Founder and Executive Director, Seyi Akiwowo said:

“It is great to see that Ofcom’s powers will be extended to internet safety and that social media firms will be held to account over online abuse. This is long overdue, but it is a step in the right direction. The extension of Ofcom’s powers is key in making sure that there is an ability for action to be taken more quickly as new threats emerge. 

“Glitch’s advocacy focuses on working with the government and tech companies to make online spaces safer for all users. We call on the government and Ofcom to take into account disproportionate levels of abuse that marginalised communities face. 

“In the UK, Amnesty International found that around a quarter of women polled experienced harassment on social media platforms. For women with multi-intersecting identities, such as women of colour, LGBT+ women, and disabled women, it’s even worse. 

“Whilst this announcement is exactly what is needed to start to tackle online abuse, we look forward to seeing the full response in the spring. In addition to this move to further regulate our online spaces, we also need the government to take a leading role in positively reinforcing good digital citizenship. We continue to call on the government to commit to truly investing in digital citizenship education funded through a 1% tax on tech companies.”

Free Digital Self Care Webinar for Politically Active Womxn

Learn vital digital self care, safety and security techniques in just one hour.

To mark EVAW Day, 16 Days of activism and in response to the high levels of online abuse cited by political candidates and outgoing MPs, the Centenary Action Group is hosting Glitch’s digital self care webinar.

Are you a woman in public life wishing to have a flourishing online presence but still wish to keep your personal private? Do you avoid social media because of the fear of online abuse? Then this webinar is for you!

Glitch is offering you the chance to experience its esteemed Digital Resilience Training. Our training is tailored to women and girls who are currently in or considering leadership roles, public appointments or public life and activism, who wish to have a positive online presence without suffering the negative impact of online abuse. Whether you’re a YouTuber, influencer or activist your online life shouldn’t come at the expense of your wellbeing.

Statistics consistently show that globally women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online, and this number increases significantly for women of colour, making it crucial for women to be educated about the issue and empowered to defend themselves against abuse and report the perpetrators effectively. In this one hour webinar you will learn vital Digital Self-Defence techniques, including how to effectively document abuse.

You will also learn about the importance of implementing Digital Self-Care and sticking to it. You will learn how to set and stick to personal digital boundaries and have a flourishing online presence without compromising on your health or happiness. You’ll come away with practical tools and increased control over your online presence, resulting in a happier, healthier relationship with the digital space.

As online gender-based violence (OGBV) is an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls with multi-intersecting identities and marginalised communities, Glitch would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to individuals from these groups.

Please complete this short interest survey to receive more details on how to join at 1pm on Monday 2nd December.

Will your candidates help fix the glitch?

This general election offers an opportunity for all political parties to explicitly support equality for women. Women’s lives have changed significantly in the last 50 years but there is still lots of work to do.

Glitch is proud to be part of a coalition of 30 organisations striving for gender equality and women’s human rights. We call on candidates from across the political spectrum to adopt policies in this Women and Girls 2019 manifesto to redress the imbalances in our society that harm all women and girls, especially those who are further marginalised by race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation or disability. We call on candidates to commit to:

Ensuring the new duty of care on online companies to protect their users includes tackling sexual harassment, bullying and violence that disproportionally affects girl sand women, and ensuring online safety for all women and girls, acknowledging the intersectional nature and impact of this discrimination by requiring service providers to fund comprehensive digital citizenship education for users across the UK.

Let’s make this general election about online safety and justice for all women and girls online. Ask your candidates today: how will you improve the lives of all women and girls online? #GE2019WomenandGirls #GE2019 @glitchuk_

Glitch is a UK registered charity. Charity number: 1187714
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