Prince Harry slammed social media for creating “the conditions for a crisis of hate” and called on business to use their advertising dollars to create change on online platforms.
“Our message was clear: The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth,” the former Duke of Sussex wrote in an op-ed for Fast Company in a piece published Thursday. The comments were noted by the “Today” show.
In the piece, he explained how he and his wife Meghan Markle had spent the last few weeks reaching out to companies to reform, but didn’t specify which ones. (RELATED: Report: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Plan To Have At Least One More Child)
Prince Harry: “We all need a better online experience. We’ve spoken with leaders across the racial justice movement, experts in humane tech, and advocates of mental health. And the collective opinion is abundantly clear: We do not have the luxury of time.” https://t.co/Wv8FhvDGo0
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) August 6, 2020
“Well, many of us love and enjoy social media,” he added. “It’s a seemingly free resource for connecting, sharing, and organizing. But it’s not actually free; the cost is high. Every time you click they learn more about you.” (RELATED: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Enjoying New Life: ‘A Weight Has Been Lifted,’ Friend Says)
The royal continued, as he noted that how “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. Whereas normally we’re the consumer buying a product, in this ever-changing digital world, we are the product.” (RELATED: REPORT: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Reportedly Called The Cops After Drones Flew Over Their Hollywood Home)
The former duke went on to call on businesses to use their advertising dollars to “encourage” online platforms to “redesign themselves in a more responsible” way.
“It shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence that the rise of social media has been matched by a rise in division amongst us globally,” Harry explained. “Social media’s own algorithms and recommendation tools can drive people down paths towards radicalism and extremism that they might not have taken otherwise.”
“We can—and must—encourage these platforms to redesign themselves in a more responsible and compassionate way,” he concluded. “The world will feel it, and we will all benefit from it.”