Kamala Harris' Online Harassment Task Force Is a Bad Idea

Article here. Excerpt:

'The White House created a new task force on Thursday to combat online harassment, abuse, and sexual violence. The initiative was unveiled by Vice President Kamala Harris, who gave little indication that she understands the difference between preventing violence and deterring harassment, the latter of which is outside the government's purview.

"For far too many people, the internet is a place of fear," said Harris. "This affects all of us if it affects any one of us."

Online harassment is indeed a frustrating and pervasive problem; contrary to the White House's framing that harassers primarily target women and minorities, people of all backgrounds contend with it if they spend any significant time online. A Pew survey from 2017 found that 44 percent of men said they had experienced online harassment, compared with 37 percent of women.

Like the disinformation board that preceded it, the White House's new task force seems incredibly misguided. At the very least, its mission should be narrowed to focus on speech that does in some cases fall outside of First Amendment protection: actual threats of violence, revenge porn (which is illegal in some states), and the like.'

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