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White House Launches Task Force to Tackle Online Harassment

The task force is meant to address online abuse, which disproportionately affects women, girls, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.

The White House viewed across the South Lawn
A new White House task force is meant to focus on and help prevent online abuse and harassment.
Marguerite Reardon/CNET

President Joe Biden is expected to sign a presidential memorandum Thursday that establishes a new task force to address online harassment and abuse. Online abuse disproportionally affects women, girls, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals

The task force will give recommendations to government bodies, technology platforms, schools and other groups and organizations on how they can combat online abuse and harassment. These recommendations will focus on things like providing support for survivors of online abuse, expanding research efforts to better understand how people are affected by online abuse and how to hold people and platforms accountable. 

Task force members will include Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garlands.

The launch of the task force comes just a few weeks after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The alleged shooters in both incidents are believed to have engaged in abusive behavior online. The White House said the shootings "underscored the connections between online harassment, hate, misogyny, and extremist acts."

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