Joe Biden has a lot of plans in mind, most of which he plans to execute if he gains the United States Presidency. Among those he wants to do is to set up a taskforce meant to censor online posts, especially those coming from pro-life conservatives.
According to CNBC, the former Vice President plans to sit down and discuss with a task force to "create best practices for containing online harassment." He said his administration will "shine a light" on the online abuse and harassment that has been "disproportionately" affecting women and the youth.
The task force that Biden has in mind reportedly includes people from elite institutions. This would include federal agencies, state leaders, advocates, law enforcement and technology experts. Looking at the Bidden-Harris website, the goal of the campaign is to study rampant online sexual harassment, stalking and threats. This would also cover "revenge porn," deepfakes as well as ties to harassment, mass shootings, extremism and violence against women.
Among the immediate duties of the task force is to employ advanced strategies and recommendations on how federal and state governments, social media companies, schools, and other public and private will handle this new endeavor. The Task Force will also include platform accountability and transparent reporting requirements on incidents of harassment and response.
With these plans, experts are eager to see what Biden has planned. Like in the case of Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science, engineering and public policy Kathleen Carley, the rampant increase of online discrimination is disturbing and something that needs proper attention.
“I think the task force could be very important because it’s very clear there is a lot of online disinformation and hate speech and we’ve seen how that’s been a significant way to harm women and vulnerable groups such as a children and minorities,” Carley said.
Fake news or viral information remains a concern for most, particularly from leading social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The spread of misinformation, violence and extremist content is a cause for concern despite the efforts of online platforms to try and resolve the situation on their end.
Though the effort is laudable, it appears that the push is not enough. Looking ahead, these tech companies could be held more accountable for these instances. Known to be secretive on how they carry out their policies, the need to be more transparent is expected to set in.
“We have so little transparency so it’s really impossible to evaluate the measures being taken,” John Redgrave, the CEO of abuse detection software company Sentropy said. “There’s always the question of what’s enforcement going to be like? What’s the length of time it takes for them to attach labels and policies that breach policies? A label applied several hours late is only marginally better than no label at all.”
Though with good intentions, some feel that the tech companies may eventually find ways to water it down. What's more, others see Biden's new taskforce as a threat to pro-life conservatives on the internet.
LifeNews, a pro-life news agency, says women's rights and safety will be a "trojan horse" that Biden and his team will use to bring about another level of internet censorship. With this in mind, it's easy to see that all of the rhetoric above simply is just an excuse to increase the level of censorship online.