Me & My Shadow: tech revolution
As AI and the advancement of technology continues to make headlines, a young woman with epilepsy was invited to get a behind the scenes tour of X's central London HQ.
Ankita Guchait, a 28-year-old from London, spent Friday 11th August shadowing Niamh McDade, the Deputy Head of Government Affairs at X (formerly Twitter), to learn more about the tech revolution, AI and the recent rebrand from Twitter to X.
And, Ankita, who was diagnosed with epilepsy aged 14, also learnt about some of the steps X is taking to make the internet safer for people with epilepsy.
Over the last few years, the Epilepsy Society have run the hugely successful Zach's Law campaign, which has led to a provision in the Online Safety Bill to criminalise the deliberate sending of flashing images to a person with epilepsy. And while regulation is important, we are well aware of the need for technological solutions too, including the ability to turn-off autoplay settings.
Ankita noted this, saying "during the early years of social media when I used to get seizures there was no system in place if there was a flashing light or posts targeting my seizures to bully or harass. It is good that now there is a feature on X allowing you to turn off your autoplay while scrolling your feed which will restrict exposure to flashing lights."
But it was not just discussions around online safety that filled up Ankita's day.
Ankita said: "I had a great time learning about Niamh's role, the X platform, and her work on government policy. I really enjoyed my placement at X. I learned about the different teams that the company has from marketing to research, and I found out what X are doing to try and keep people safe online."
"I also became aware of some of the core values of the company and their focus on causes like human trafficking and cyber crime – which I think are very important."
Niamh, who has worked at X and formerly Twitter for three years, said:
"It was great to meet Ankita and to introduce her to the work of the Government Affairs team at X, discuss a range of key policy areas and provide an insight into the work of a variety of teams across the company.
The Me and My Shadow scheme is a brilliant initiative providing important opportunities for young women to explore a variety of career possibilities. I look forward to staying in touch with Ankita and thank the Epilepsy Society for the opportunity to be involved."
Ankita's placement was the latest in our Me & My Shadow scheme, which gives women with epilepsy the opportunity to "shadow" for a day leading figures from media, politics, charities, health and business.