(FreedomWire.org) – The White House revealed in a Thursday briefing that Vice President Kamala Harris would lead a new “disinformation” task force.
“In the United States and around the world, women and LGBTQI+ political leaders, public figures, activists, and journalists are especially targeted by sexualized forms of online harassment and abuse, undermining their ability to exercise their human rights and participate in democracy, governance, and civic life,” the briefing read.
“Online abuse and harassment, which aim to preclude women from political decision-making about their own lives and communities, undermine the functioning of democracy,” it added.
Members of the new team only include current administration officials like Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The task force plans to hold its first meeting Thursday afternoon, where it will take the first step towards submitting an outline to President Joe Biden that addresses “technology-facilitated gender-based violence” on internet platforms, state and local governments, and schools. Another report featuring additional suggestions will also be issued next year.
Within 180 days, the panel will submit to President Biden a blueprint that “outlines a whole-of-government approach to preventing and addressing technology-facilitated gender-based violence, including concrete actions that executive departments, agencies, and offices have committed to take to implement the Task Force’s recommendations.”
Within a year, the board will issue a report with “additional recommendations and actions” advising broader steps that can be taken by Internet platforms, state and local governments and schools, the document says.
In April, Biden came under fire for the creation of what critics called a “dystopian” disinformation bureau under DHS, which many viewed as a way for the government to police free speech online.
Conservatives slammed the “Disinformation Governance Board” and noted its timing — coming after Elon Musk vowed to make Twitter a free speech haven through his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform notorious for selectively censoring right-leaning points of view.
On a Wednesday evening press call, a Biden administration official said the new task force contrasts with the Disinformation Government Board in that “we are particularly focused on online activities that are illegal conduct, such as cyber stalking or non consensual distribution of intimate images, or targeted harassment.”
However, the memo establishing the panel describes a broader mission and specifically invokes criticism of public figures — who in the US legal system have a more difficult time suing for defamation to allow room for political speech, and also because they sought out the spotlight.