The Kensington Place has devoted more resources in managing the Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, social media platforms as a rise of hate comments emerged upon pregnancy announcement.
Kensington Palace staff are devoting more resources to deleting comments targeting Meghan, and blocking abusive Twitter and Instagram accounts. The software used to filter out the use of the n-word, as well as, emojis of guns and knives are on the move.
Other than Markle, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge popularly known as Princess Kate, receives abuse also. Much of the violence is sexist, while racist comments are also made against Meghan.
The unstopping hate spread online prompted Kensington Palace to ask social media firms for help in tackling the issue in January.
Since its social media accounts were set up, the palace has used both manual and automatic tools for monitoring them, and it deletes and reports anything deemed abusive, racist, sexist or violent. These automated tools have helped bring down the levels of abuse
A spokesperson for Twitter told CNN that the company did not comment on individual accounts, for “privacy and security reasons,” but added: “Our abusive behavior policy clearly states that we do not tolerate behavior that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others.”
Instagram does not comment on individual accounts but does have a range of tools in place to counter bullying and offensive comments. Instagram had been especially helpful in providing monitoring tools to aid in blocking abusive comments.
As part of the effort, Britain’s royal family has told social media users to show “courtesy, kindness, and respect” when interacting with its online posts, after repeated cases of online abuse directed at Duchesses Meghan and Kate, and since placed a set of guidelines when communicating online.
Upon marrying into the British Royalty, Prince Harry, Markle has been subjected to an almost daily onslaught of hostile stories regarding her sex, raise, and background.
An analysis by an advocacy group named Hope Not Hate concluded that most of the tweets revolving around are from a close-knit group circling anti-Meghan tweets. Among the 5,000 tweets analyzed, about 70% were made by only 20 accounts, presumably created for the sole purpose to throw hate, racism, and sexism on the social media platform.
Further, the Twitter accounts of said trolls usually contain anti-Meghan hashtags in their bios. Some of which were #Megxit and #Charlatanduchess, as well as, politically inclined hashtags like #Brexit and #MAGA (Make America Great Again), usually used in combination.
Twitter has since suspended a few of the accounts analyzed
Since the media first revealed Meghan and Prince Harry’s relationship in 2016, there have been references in articles to Meghan’s “rich and exotic DNA,” reports that her “family went from cotton slaves to royalty” and claims that the Los Angeles native was “(almost) straight outta Compton,” in reference to the NWA song.
Friends of Markle, later identified as her former co-star, expresses in an interview that they worry “about what this is doing to her and the baby.” The former co-star added that “Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths… It’s wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they’re pregnant.”
Ever since the announcement of her pregnancy, there has been endless curiosity around the child that is yet to be born. Certain undertones regarding the baby’s skin color, the shape of its nose, color and style of its hair — will it be black and curly, among others.
In a video message, the magazine’s royal editor, Emily Nash, said: “We’re taking a stand and saying #HellotoKindness. “
For us, it’s not acceptable to pit two women against each other. It’s not acceptable to post abusive, threatening, racist or sexist comments online. And it’s not acceptable to attack other users just because they disagree with you.