Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to reflect the accuracy of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are supporting the campaign and aren’t founders, as reported erroneously previously. We regret the error.
Prince Harry wants to change social media for the better.
The Duke of Sussex shared his considerable writing talents with Fast Company and, in a 1400-word op-ed , discussed how he and his wife, Meghan Markle, plan to play a pivotal role in “redesigning” how we connect with one another on various social platforms.
While his heart is in the right place, this may prove to be a rather Herculean effort.
By now, we certainly know that social media can be both a great uniter and a great divider. There’s no better example of the latter than, of course, Donald Trump, who weaponized Twitter to the point that Americans, as a nation, have a crisis of democracy.
In response, Prince Harry says that he and Markle called up the titans of social media to take responsibility for the situation that they created.
Video: Prince Harry Says Social Media Is ‘Creating A Crisis Of Hate’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex further held their feet to the fire by backing the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which called upon companies to withhold their digital ad-spend for the month of July. The result was a $7 billion ad suspension from companies like the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and Color of Change.
What’s more, Prince Harry said, he and Markle are concerned about the deleterious effects that weaponized social media will have on the children of the future — and, as a father himself, a weaponized social media platform like Facebook or Twitter is concerning to him .
The internet has enabled us to be joined together. We are now plugged into a vast nervous system that, yes, reflects our good, but too often also magnifies and fuels our bad. We can—and must—encourage these platforms to redesign themselves in a more responsible and compassionate way. The world will feel it, and we will all benefit from it.
While Prince Harry certainly means well — and while, certainly, he has the influence to make meaningful change; much like his mother, Princess Diana, Harry uses his title for social good and not for pomp and circumstance — this may prove to be a more Herculean task than he thinks.
After years of abusing people and creating a socio-political crisis, Twitter is only now beginning to hold the likes of Donald Trump accountable. It’s only now, after a non-stop outcry against amplifying voices like KKK leader David Duke, that Twitter finally began de-platforming hate-mongers.
This isn’t to say that Prince Harry shouldn’t hold the social media giants accountable, but it is to say that it’s going to take a lot more than one well-written op-ed to pierce the culture of hate. Regardless, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex deserve our support in this monumental task.