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Kamala Harris to launch task force to combat online abuse and harassment

US Vice President Kamala Harris (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP) 
Chris Megerian, Associated Press

US vice president Kamala Harris will launch a new task force dedicated to fighting online harassment and abuse, senior Biden administration officials have said.

Although the problem is not new, it has taken on new urgency following shooting massacres in Texas and New York that followed misogynist and racist commentary on social media and message boards.

The National Security Council is working with the White House Gender Policy Council on the initiative, and attorney general Merrick Garland and surgeon general Vivek Murthy were scheduled to attend the first meeting on Thursday.

Also present will be Sloane Stephens, a black tennis player who has faced a torrent of racist abuse after losing matches.

The task force is intended to develop, over the next 180 days, recommendations for next steps that the federal government can take to combat the problem, said the administration officials, who insisted on anonymity to speak before the launch announcement.

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