#mdxNoFGM: Let’s Think about Live Tweeting

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending Middlesex University’s FGM Conference. According to the NHS, “[a]n estimated 137,000 women in the UK are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). However, the true extent is unknown, due to the “hidden” nature of the crime.” The collaborative nature of the conference reflected the need for multi-agency collaboration to end female genital mutilation in the UK (more specifically) and internationally (more broadly). Presentations by practitioners,

academics,

and the Metropolitan Police

demonstrated the ways that multiple agencies can work parallel and in concert with one another to further education and intervention for the women and girls who have been subjected to or are threatened with female genital mutilation.

Needless to say, this is a topic with immense importance and immeasurable impact. With that in mind, I volunteered to live-tweet the event and see what kind of buzz we could get through social media. After chatting with the event organizers, we agreed on the hashtag #mdxnofgm.

The live-tweeting event allowed for another dimension to the conference and connected delegates to content in a more deliberate way, allowing people to share documents and questions during presentations and workshops.

As well, delegates could introduce themselves informally to each other, announce to their own networks that they were attending a conference on FGM, or just enthuse at the experience of being part of the experience.

All in all, it was a great experience and I am very glad that the conference organizers let me take part.

Now, let’s think about a bit more about live tweeting itself and the function it serves in academia.

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