Great Britain’s Prince Harry, who along with his wife Meghan Markle has espoused left-wing causes, is calling for more censorship of social media and targeting corporations that fund social media.
In a piece published Thursday at the website Fast Company, Harry acknowledged that he and his wife have been contacting “business leaders, heads of major corporations, and chief marketing officers at brands” to urge them to stop funding social media to stop the “crisis of hate,” “crisis of health,” and “crisis of truth.”
Harry lauded the effort by “a civil rights and racial justice campaign called Stop Hate For Profit,” which was led by the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and the NAACP for sending “a $7 billion message through withheld ad dollars.”
“From conversations with experts in this space, we believe we have to remodel the architecture of our online community in a way defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fearmongering; by free, rather than weaponized, speech,” he continued. “This remodeling must include industry leaders from all areas drawing a line in the sand against unacceptable online practices as well as being active participants in the process of establishing new standards for our online world.”
Harry likened the online atmosphere to the deadly effects of lead poisoning: “In the 1970s, there was a groundbreaking study on the societal effects of lead exposure and kids. The research found a clear connection … Eventually, sweeping health and environmental reforms were put in place to change this. We knew something was harmful to the health of our children, so we made the necessary changes to keep them safe, healthy, and well.”
“So there is huge value in advertisers sitting at the table with advocacy leaders, with policy leaders, with civil society leaders, in search of solutions that strengthen the digital community while protecting its free and open nature,” Harry advised.
He praised GARM, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, for “evaluating standards and definitions around online hate speech.”
“But this is just the beginning,” Harry concluded. “And our hope is that it’s the beginning of a movement where we, as people, place community and connection, tolerance and empathy, and joy and kindness above all. 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.”
In early July, The Sun tweeted a video in which Harry apologized for his generation and the ones before his for their failure to “right the wrongs of the past,” including “institutional racism” and “unconscious bias.”
Harry started his mea culpa by citing his wife, Meghan Markle, then segueing to trumpeting that he and his wife would commit to the “change that you are all leading.”
“My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past,” he said. “I, too, am sorry. Sorry that we haven’t got the world to the place that you deserve it to be. Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic. Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame, to create a better world for all of you. I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are all leading. Now is the time and we know that you can do it.”
Related: Royal Expert: Meghan Markle Now Free To Speak About ‘Gender Equality, Racial Injustice, Youth Empowerment’