Seyi Akiwowo, Founder of Glitch, explains how to be an online accomplice to Black women and why a little can mean a lot in the face of online abuse
Here’s a thing, do you know Black women are 84% more likely to receive abusive tweets? Or that since the beginning of the pandemic 50% of Black and minoritised women and non-binary people reported experiencing online abuse. Now, more than ever everyone needs to play their part as digital citizens and learn how to be an online accomplice to Black women. That’s why, along with Twitter and ten other charities, Glitch launched the #StandUpToHate campaign, providing Twitter users with guidance to practice responsible online citizenship.
In the space of three years, Glitch has gained international acclaim for its work on digital issues, tackling online harms and abuse. As Glitch continues to push for systemic change from the government, social media companies and employers, it’s important we continue raising awareness of the individual actions that people can take to support those experiencing online abuse. Abuse of Black women and other similar trends was documented in our recent report The Ripple Effect: Covid-19 and the Epidemic of Online Abuse.
Without all of us playing our part, online abuse will only get worse as we spend more time online. We’re encouraging thousands of our online community to take four small steps to help those facing online abuse.
Four ways to be an online accomplice to Black women
Everyone can really make a difference with these four simple steps:
Because a little really does mean a lot. But those four steps are not the only actions allies can take. As part of Glitch’s Autumn- Winter Programme, the new Fix The Glitch Toolkit 2.0 was launched. The kits are specifically created to give Black women confidence and knowledge on digital self care, defence and safety.
Part of being a digital citizen is being informed, and how you can help work towards a fairer and safe world for all. So, this Toolkit is also for those seeking to be an online ally to Black women. There’s even a Glitch lunchtime workshop taking place on Friday 30th October, supporting Black women and allies keen to host conversations or workshops for their community or networks. It could be your friends, family, work colleagues or activist group.
Glitch’s The Ripple Effect report proved beyond doubt that the lockdown in March led to an increase in online abuse. Now, with further local lockdown measures announced, and the possibility of more coming over the next few weeks and months, we can’t allow this trajectory of Black and minoritised women suffering disproportionate levels of online abuse to continue. During Black History Month and beyond, we must continue working towards making the online space safe for all.
* Find out more about Glitch’s Autumn-Winter Programme with free workshops and resources now