e-Karen’s own uncensored words

by REX WIDERSTROM – THE woman working to regulate what Australians — and the entire world — can view on the internet was once an employee of the company she’s battling in the Federal Court: Twitter, now called X. 

US citizen Julie Inman Grant rarely grants long-form interviews, but in 2022 she agreed to talk to the Communications Law Review, which wrote an uncritical piece on the newly reappointed eSafety commissioner. 

University drop-out Julie Inman Grant says only she can decide what you can watch. The crazy-Left US expat has rightly earned her nickname – e-Karen.
Politicom

In it, she revealed that she had studied computer science at university in the US, but dropped out to study international relations.

She then headed straight for Washington DC, securing a job in the early 1990s at the intersection of “technology, public policy and social justice before there was an internet.”

VICTIM

On an episode of the ABC’s Q&A program, Ms Inman Grant claimed to have been the victim of sexual assault and harassment while working for US Congressman John Miller, who represented her home State of Washington.

She also claimed – in another interview – to have first been offered a position as a case agent with the CIA.

“I wanted to do psychological profiles of serial killers but they wanted to talk me into becoming a case agent – which meant that I wouldn’t be able to tell my friends and family what I was doing so that scared me off,” she said.

Her involvement with technology came when her congressman approached asking her to look at this “small little company called Microsoft”, which was within his district and dealing with telecommunications industry deregulation.

The soon-to-be tech giant must have liked whatever it was she did for them, as it recruited her to be one of its first lobbyists.

“It was the early 1990s, so tech policy was ground zero, developing the Communications Decency Act in the midst of the anti-trusts trial, meeting Bill Gates on my second day of work and taking him to the White House,” she recalls.

She spent five years in Washington before Microsoft “sent me as far away as they could” to Australia and New Zealand where she set up the company’s Philanthropy, Government Relations and Industry Affairs program, which eventually expanded to the Asia-Pacific region.

After 17 years working for the tech company, where she rose to become global director for Safety & Privacy Policy and Outreach, she did some consulting work in Australia before joining what was then Twitter in 2012.

“I got to see the good, the bad and the ugly of social media close up,” she said.

She then went to software development firm Adobe before being “tapped” to become Australia’s first eSafety Commissioner under the Liberal Turnbull Government.

She describes her role within these companies as having been “an antagonist, saying ‘Come on … we’re looking at privacy and security and I get how that leads to customer trust (and hence sales) but what about the personal harms we’re causing to people?’”

“I started as a techno-optimist,” she said, “And I believed that when I started in the industry that it would change the world. But over time I also saw the damage that technology was doing to people.

“I also saw that it’s not entirely the tech companies’ fault.

INTERSECTIONAL CLAPTRAP

“Unfortunately what social media has tended to do is surface the realities of the human condition, whether it’s prejudice, racism, homophobia or misogyny.

“Up until now people have been able to abuse others based on these intersectional factors with relative impunity.

“Bias is going to exist in society, and it will take a lot of time to dismantle it, and we call it out and try to stop it. That’s what we have to do, we have to call it out.”

About Twitter, she says: “I really enjoyed that time … and they gave me a lot of latitude to do things.
“I ultimately left Twitter because I reached the point where it didn’t feel like I could defend the company any more.

“What I’ve certainly learnt is that a commitment to safety and user wellbeing has to come from the top.”

Ms Inman Grant is also chair of the Child Dignity Alliance’s Technical Working Group and a board member of the WePROTECT Global Alliance.

She was named one of Australia’s most influential women by The Australian Financial Review and a “leading Australian in foreign affairs” by The Sydney Morning Herald.

In 2020, the World Economic Forum appointed her one of the “Agile50,” the world’s most influential leaders revolutionising government.

She was appointed eSafety commissioner in January 2017, and in January 2022 was reappointed for a further five years.

She is a mother of three, who moved to Australia 18 years ago and married a local.PC

Rex Widerstrom

e-Karen is weird, weird …

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Julie Inman Grant AKA e-Karen. (courtesy WA Today)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Epoch Times on April 26, 2024. Re-used with permission.

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