- Prince Harry said he and Meghan Markle will return to social media "when it feels right."
- He spoke to Fast Company about the dangers of online misinformation and the urgency of social media reform.
- Harry said he and Meghan would "revisit" social media" when "more meaningful commitments to change or reform" take place.
Prince Harry spoke about the dangers of social media and the spread of online misinformation in a recent interview with Fast Company (read more about that here). The Duke of Sussex explained how racist tabloid coverage provoked a barrage of social media harassment and called for greater reform of online platforms, while sharing when he and the Duchess of Sussex will return to social media themselves.
"I was really surprised to witness how my story had been told one way, my wife’s story had been told one way, and then our union sparked something that made the telling of that story very different," Harry told the magazine. "That false narrative became the mothership for all of the harassment you’re referring to. It wouldn’t have even begun had our story just been told truthfully."
He explained why he and Meghan have dedicated themselves to digital reform: "To their own degree, everyone has been deeply affected by the current consequences of the digital space. It could be as individual as seeing a loved one go down the path of radicalisation or as collective as seeing the science behind the climate crisis denied," Harry said. "We are all vulnerable to it, which is why I don’t see it as a tech issue, or a political issue—it’s a humanitarian issue."
"We have seen time and again what happens when the real-world cost of misinformation is disregarded. There is no way to downplay this. There was a literal attack on democracy in the United States, organised on social media, which is an issue of violent extremism," Harry continued.
"It is widely acknowledged that social media played a role in the genocide in Myanmar and was used as a vehicle to incite violence against the Rohingya people, which is a human rights issue. And in Brazil, social media provided a conduit for misinformation which ultimately brought destruction to the Amazon, which is an environmental and global health issue."
Harry also commented on the positives of social media, and shared that he and Meghan expect to return in the future. "The truth is, despite its well-documented ills, social media can offer a means of connecting and community, which are vital to us as human beings. We need to hear each other’s stories and be able to share our own. That’s part of the beauty of life," he said.
"We will revisit social media when it feels right for us—perhaps when we see more meaningful commitments to change or reform," the Duke of Sussex added. "But right now we’ve thrown much of our energy into learning about this space and how we can help."