It’s only been a matter of days since Kamala Harris was publicly introduced as Joe Biden’s running mate. Yet in that small window, Harris has been inundated with sexist and racist attacks online, which may largely stem from the fact that Harris is the first Black woman and the first Asian American to appear on a major party ticket.
“This disinformation will grow louder and meaner, because she represents the two threats to Republican success: women and Blacks,” said Curtis Hougland, the CEO of Main Street One, in conversation with The Washington Post.
The Post notes that “Social media researchers point to posts in the first 24 hours after Joe Biden picked Harris as his running mate that attacked her appearance, dissected her past relationships and painted her as inauthentic — a character attack that they say is more frequently weaponized to attack women online.”
Houghland spoke with the outlet last October, lightyears ago in the digital timeline, and noted that challenges for campaigns would be imminent and reminiscent of the disinformation that circled Donald Trump’s 2016 victory.
He noted then, “There have been a lot of smart cyber minds that have been shutting the back door with firewalls, servers, two-factor authentication, system upgrades and actually doing a decent job of getting campaigns to follow some protocols to avoid some of the more disastrous moments in 2016. The challenge has been that we’ve left the front door open, and that has a lot to do with disinformation.”