On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris and other government officials announced the formation of a task group to combat online harassment and abuse, which they fear can lead to real-life violence.
“The internet is a vital component of existence in the twenty-first century,” Harris said, but “the internet is a site of terror” for many people, notably women, people of color, and individuals who are not heterosexual.
The task force will examine several concerns, including online abuse prevention and services for those attacked. In 180 days, it will make recommendations to the federal government and private firms.
We all have a responsibility to stand together in support of people who have been through this and to acknowledge that they should not have to fight this battle alone, “According to Harris.
Although the issue isn’t new, it has gained new significance in the aftermath of shooting atrocities in Texas and New York, which were preceded by misogynist and racist comments on social media and message boards.
Sloane Stephens, a Black professional tennis player who has received a barrage of racial abuse, introduced Harris.
“She is a wife, a sister, and a daughter. And she is more than an athlete; she is more than a moniker, “Stephens remarked. “All of this is ignored, however, when people online try to harass and damage me. Regardless of whether she wins or loses, netizens will make it known.
Coordinating with the White House
The program is being coordinated by the National Security Council and the White House Gender Policy Council. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy were present during the announcement on Thursday.
According to Garland, the Justice Department has allocated more resources to issues such as cyber stalking.
“We are dedicated to rigorously investigating these crimes, bringing those responsible to justice, and supporting the victims,” he said.
As reported by Fox13, When individuals are lonely or looking for relationships, Murthy says they often turn to the internet, but “far too often what they get instead are harassment and abuse.”
“It can no longer be acceptable for a technology corporation to release a product and then ignore the consequences for users and communities,” he says.
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