Who is Kamala Harris? A closer look at Joe Biden’s running mate
They didn’t have to wait long. Minutes after the alleged Democratic candidate’s announcement on Tuesday, false information was circulating on social media, claiming that Harris had called Biden a “racist” and that she was not eligible for the presidency.
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Women’s groups say their efforts are informed by the sexism Hillary Clinton faced from Donald Trump, some of his supporters and the media during the 2016 campaign.
Joe Biden chooses Senator Kamala Harris as running mate
“This time we understand the models, and this time we have the organizational infrastructure to push back,” said Shaunna Thomas, executive director of the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, who published a 32-page guide to the media with a coalition of groups including Color of Change PAC, Votes for Family Planning and Women’s March.
While the groups have been primarily led by Democrats, their efforts are supported by non-partisan groups and some Republicans.
The War Room will speak out against prejudice and misinformation against women from both parties throughout the ballot, said Tina Tchen, CEO of Time’s Up Now, which fights against sexual harassment in the workplace.
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Groups say that scrutiny is to be expected from a running mate, but women are often unfairly criticized for being overly emotional, weak or unqualified, or for their appearance or behavior. a way that men are not. The attacks, which include bogus slander and threats of online violence, not only hurt campaigns, but deter women from running for office.
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Former New Jersey governor and Republican Christine Todd Whitman said Biden’s running mate would be at the center of an “ugly” social media campaign against online bullies.
“It’s going to be brutal because these platforms allow people to do things anonymously, by saying things anonymously,” Whitman said.
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If elected, Harris would be the country’s first black vice president. This sparked not only sexist but racist comments and misinformation around his candidacy.
Harris, who was born in Oakland, Calif., Has been the victim of online lies for over a year that say she is not eligible to become president because her parents were not born in America. More recently, Facebook users have added a new twist to the misinformation: Since Harris is not eligible for the presidency, if Biden does not complete his term, the presidency would automatically revert to House Speaker Nancy by default. Pelosi, a Democrat.
There is no truth to this – Harris is a natural born American citizen who is eligible for the presidency – yet the misinformation has been shared by thousands of Facebook users. Facebook called the posts fake but did not remove them from its platform.
Joe Biden chooses Kamala Harris as running mate
The misinformation points to conspiracy theories in 2008 around Democrat Barack Obama, the first black American president, who claimed to be born in Kenya and not in the United States. These claims were amplified by then-reality TV star Donald Trump and gained so much popularity during the campaign that Obama produced a birth certificate showing he was born in Honolulu.
Harris’ latest attacks on citizenship were highlighted in a letter from more than 100 lawmakers nationwide and around the world sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, calling on them to remove misinformation and publications or accounts that threaten women.
“Much of the most hateful content directed at women on Facebook is amplified by your algorithms that reward extreme and dangerous views with greater reach and visibility,” said the letter, which was led by the Democratic representative. Jackie Speier from California.
Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden as Democratic presidential candidate
Cindy Southworth, head of women’s safety at Facebook, said the company will work with lawmakers to “develop new solutions.”
“The abuse of women on the Internet is a serious problem, one that we are tackling in different ways – through technology that identifies and removes potentially abusive content before it happens, by enforcing strict policies and through discussion. with experts to make sure we stay ahead of new tactics, ”she said.
But just minutes after Harris announced as Biden’s vice president, pro-Trump social media figures and conservative media claimed Harris called Biden a racist in a televised Democratic debate last year. . (In fact, she said, “I don’t think you are a racist” before criticizing her past opposition to policies of school desegregation.)
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The road to becoming Biden’s running mate had been littered with deceptive online attacks on women under study.
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has been accused of committing crimes in office and Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who authorized strict stay-at-home orders in Michigan this year, has been bombarded with memes and images comparing her to Adolf Hitler or an “evil queen.” ”
Harris is likely prepared for the attack ahead this year after watching 2016 unfold on social media, said Sarah Oates, professor of political communication at the University of Maryland.
“She’s going to be vilified no matter who she is,” Oates said. “In 2020, people are listening and more aware of this. That’s not to say it’s going to improve it, but at least you can be more aware of the toxicity.
© 2020 The Canadian Press