The prince took aim at social media in the essay, published August 6, and claimed that certain online platforms had “contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began calling business leaders over a month ago, according to the opinion piece, in order to spread the message that the companies had the chance to reconsider their role in funding and supporting such platforms.
This move coincided with the launch of civil rights and racial justice movement Stop Hate For Profit, which was created by the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and Color of Change. On June 29, Cosmopolitan reported that the Sussexes were “quietly working with” the campaign, which urged companies to pause their Facebook ad spend for the duration of July.
In his Fast Company essay, Harry warned that while many people love and enjoy social media, “the cost is high.”
“Every time you click they learn more about you. Our information, private data, and unknown habits are traded on for advertising space and dollars. The price we’re all paying is much higher than it appears,” he wrote.
Harry wrote that after conversations with social media experts, the royal couple concluded that social media needs to be remodeled so it is “defined more by compassion than hate.”
In order for this to take place, he said industry leaders from all areas must draw a line in the sand against “unacceptable” online practices and actively participate in the process of establishing new standards.
Harry pointed to his role as dad to his 1-year-old son Archie as motivation for campaigning for social media reform.
“If we are susceptible to the coercive forces in digital spaces, then we have to ask ourselves — what does this mean for our children? As a father, this is especially concerning to me.”
As the duke and duchess strive to protect privacy in the digital realm, on July 29, Meghan battled to protect the identities of five of her friends in the second preliminary hearing of her lawsuit against a U.K.-based tabloid.
As The Inquisitr reported on August 5, Justice Mark Warby ruled that the identities of the individuals — who comprise a key part of Meghan’s case — should remain anonymous for the time being.
The duchess took legal action against The Mail on Sunday’s parent company, Associated Newspapers, for alleged misuse of private information, breach of the Data Protection Act, and copyright infringement. The lawsuit was brought in relation to five articles from February 2019 that contained excerpts of a private letter from Meghan to her father, Thomas Markle.