Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign has published its gun control manifesto calling for more restrictive rules as part of Biden’s bid to win the US presidency, referring to gun violence as an epidemic and a health crisis.
Among a number of points brought up in the document, including Biden’s past policy initiatives in this area, several focus on online and digital aspects of weapons production and ownership, in an apparent attempt to reconcile the long-standing Democratic take on the issue, with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution that protect people’s right to keep and bear arms.
Availability of weapons is often accused of being linked with incidents resulting in mass shootings, and one promise that Biden makes in the document is to establish a new task force that would seek to connect the phenomenon of mass shootings with “online extremism” that manifests in “harassment and violence against women.”
This future task force that would be formed under Biden’s presidency would bring together US federal agencies and law enforcement, along with “state leaders, advocates, and technology experts.”
Such an assembly of professionals would then look into how what’s described as “rampant” online harassment, may or may not relate to mass shootings and violence against women. At times, the section reads like an attempt to throw in as many keywords as possible, and so revenge porn and deepfakes also make it to the list of possible, to be studied under Biden’s presidency, causes behind mass shootings.
The task force would be expected to produce recommendations and “cutting-edge strategies” given to institutions, social media, federal and state governments (presumably, if a link is found during the research period) on what to do about it.
The idea is to then put more pressure on tech companies behind social networks to step up content policing by means of increased “accountability: (ie. censorship) and transparency in reporting and responding to instances of harassment (that may or may not be linked to consequences like mass shootings).
The Biden campaign document makes a point of gun violence playing a prominent role in domestic violence (both referred to as “epidemics”) that are interconnected and must be treated as such.