President Biden’s new task force seeks to regulate Big Tech over “abuse and harassment” on the internet
On Thursday, the White House declared that it would establish an interagency taskforce to combat harassment and online abuse. According to the US, such behaviour is disproportionately affecting women, girls and LGBTQ people, along with racial minority groups, and was blamed for recent mass shootings at Buffalo and Uvalde. Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State are among the departments represented on the panel, as well as US President Joe Biden’s chief domestic adviser, Susan Rice.
Biden has officially created the taskforce and given it 180 days in which to make recommendations on federal policies for combating harassment and online abuse. US Vice President Kamala Harris opened the panel’s inaugural session, but will not be in charge of the task force. The task force will now be co-chaired and chaired by Jake Sullivan (National Security Advisor) and Jennifer Klein (Director of the Gender Policy Council).
According to the White House, harassment and online abuse are not tolerated. “aim to preclude women from political decision-making about their own lives and communities, undermine the functioning of democracy”Particularly targeted “women and LGBTQI+ political leaders, public figures, activists, and journalists.”
The US government sought to link online behavior with the recent mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and in Buffalo, New York – the latter of which federal prosecutors have charged as a racially motivated hate crime.
“The tragic events in Buffalo and Uvalde have underscored a fact known all too well by many Americans: the internet can fuel hate, misogyny, and abuse with spillover effects that threaten our communities and safety offline,” the White House said in a ‘fact sheet’ published on Thursday.
They include the Commerce, Health and Human Services, Education, and Veterans Affairs heads. However, other notable members of this new panel are Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Attorney-General Merrick Garland, Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and USAID administrator Samantha Power and Chief Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice.
Vivek Murthy (Surgeon General) was present as well. This prominently called for big tech platforms and censorship to be addressed. “misinformation”In July of last year.
Biden’s proclamation directly refers to the “scale, reach, and amplification effects of technology platforms”That’s what he said “exacerbated gender-based violence,”Those are the claims “online radicalization can be linked to gender-based violence, which, along with other forms of abuse and harassment, spans the digital and physical realms.”
The new task force comes less than a month after Homeland Security put on hold its plans to establish a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’, a body officially dedicated to combating “mis-, dis- and mal-information” across the legacy and social media space. The board, which Mayorkas announced in April was widely criticised as an Orwellian. “Ministry of Truth.”Taylor Lorenz was the first to learn of the temporary closure. Taylor Lorenz is a Washington Post columnist controversially claiming to be a victim to persistent online harassment.