Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have stepped back from social media after quitting the Royal Family and have condemned role and the behaviour of users on online platforms. Speaking in a recent Q&A session with US business magazine Fast Company, Harry lashed out at the amount of “misinformation” being distributed online and claimed social media has played a big role in attacks on the US capitol, genocide against the Rohingya people in Burma and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
The Duke of Sussex also called for social media to be re-modelled and says the “guiding principle in my life has been about the duty to truth, the pursuit of compassion, and the alleviation of suffering”.
Harry, 36, insisted “we are all vulnerable” to online hate and described it as a “humanitarian issue”.
Meghan, 39, has also opened up on her personal experiences of social media and said she was informed last year that she was the “most trolled person in the world in 2019”.
The couple launched their own Archewell foundation last month and have not set up any social media accounts for their projects.
Their SussexRoyal Instagram account with more than 10 million followers remains live but has been inactive since last March.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams believes Meghan and Harry have no intension of using social media in its current form.
The royal commentator says the couple are already well-connected with the right people and may feel they do not need to use the platform.
He points out the Duke and Duchess have already signed mega-deals without the need for social media.
“If for any other reason they were in the future to think they did – or social media were to alter sufficiently to make them believe that they would be at ease returning – obviously they would.”
Mr Fitzwilliams added Meghan and Harry may only reconsider a return if there are “seismic changes” on social media, but acknowledged that would be “very difficult”.
Speaking to the Daily Star, he added: “It’s very difficult to change the trolling.”
Harry has called for the scope of online content to undergo radical change and warned there is a race against time.
He said: “If we’ve learned anything, it’s that our dominant technologies were built to grow and grow and grow, without serious consideration for the ripple effect of that growth.
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“We have to do more than simply reconsider this model. The stakes are too high, and time is running out.”
Speaking on the Teenage Therapy podcast last October, Meghan gave an insight into the “almost unsurvivable” abuse she experienced while she was pregnant and then became a mother in 2019.
Meghan said she was told that “in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world – male or female”.
She added: “Eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby.
“But what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, it’s so big you can’t even think what that feels like”.