Kensington Palace is combatting abuse targeting Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle on social media. Palace staff is “spending hours each week moderating sexist and racist comments” aimed at the duchesses online, Emily Nash, Hello!‘s royal correspondent, reports. She points out that threats have been made towards the royal pair, and their fans are also targeting each other with online abuse.
The news comes months after rumors alleged that Meghan and Kate were in the midst of a nasty royal “feud.” The drama, which was unconfirmed by the Palace, yet reported by mainstream media and spread by social media users, became a prime example of how high-profile women in similar positions are often pitted against each other.
A source told Nash that the Palace has “always monitored” comments on social media, but the task is “hugely time consuming.” Of the hundreds of thousands of comments posted in the last year, two or three included violent threats, the insider said.
“You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people,” the source added. “It’s something you have to manage because there’s no other way to control it.”
Kensington Palace has turned to Instagram corporate to learn about tools that can help combat the online bullying, Nash reports. The company “has a team dedicated to helping high-profile Instagram followers cope with issues such as these, and particularly around the monitoring of unpleasant and abusive comments,” she writes.
A source added that some of the worst online abuse is between Kate’s and Meghan’s fanbases. “Arguments about who looks more appropriate, for example, that turn into personal attacks on other users,” the insider told Nash.
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The Duchess of Sussex has unfortunately been targeted with online hate since she first came into the royal spotlight.
Back in 2016, Prince Harry issued a rare statement while they were dating that denounced the “wave of abuse and harassment” and “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls.” He also voiced concern about Meghan’s safety.
The negative comments towards Meghan and Kate has inspired Hello! to start the #HelloToKindness campaign, which is meant to tackle online abuse and spread positivity on social media.
It’s not acceptable to constantly pit women against each other.
It’s not acceptable to post abusive, sexist, racist or threatening comments on our platforms or anyone else’s.
And it's not acceptable to attack other users just because they disagree with you.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) January 28, 2019
Hello! magazine launches campaign aimed at making social media users think twice, as trolls pit Duchess vs Duchess. "Is it helpful, is it kind, and would you say it in real life?" #HelloToKindness by @emynash https://t.co/Ux7he76UH3
— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) January 28, 2019
I've formed some genuine connections & friendships on social media BUT it can be an aggressive & angry place too. I'm sometimes surprised by the vitriol people spew out in the face of a seemingly well meaning messages. Let's keep it kind & productive. #HelloToKindness @hellomag♥️
— Julia Bradbury (@JuliaBradbury) January 28, 2019
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US