04:27 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, right, arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018.

    UK Magazine Launches Online Awareness Campaign After Royal Princesses Abused

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    Glossy UK magazine HELLO! has launched the '#HelloToKindness' campaign in order to champion positivity online in response. Celebrities including Andrea McLean, Lorraine Kelly, Blue, Natalie Pinkham, Gaby Roslin and James McVey have backed the glossy’s initiative, but anyone can get involved and spread the word.

    Kensington Palace staff dedicate several hours each week moderating sexist and racist comments directed at Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, abuse which has extended to threats of violence on several occasions.

    Detecting the abuse is rendered all the more difficult as neither Princess have social media accounts —  Meghan deleted her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles prior to her marriage to Prince Harry. Kensington Palace itself does have official accounts — its Instagram followers numbering 7.1 million, Twitter 1.68 million — and a source told HELLO! monitoring comments is "hugely time-consuming". The social networks have dedicated teams assisting high-profile account-holders cope with such issues, who've coached the palace on detecting and moderating abuse.

    ​"They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious. Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It's something you have to manage because there's no other way to control it. It follows a Kate vs Meghan narrative and some of the worst stuff is between Kate fans and Meghan fans. Arguments about who looks more appropriate, for example, that turn into personal attacks on other users. It's creating a supercharged atmosphere and everyone can join in, but what are the consequences of this?" the insider said.

    ​Kate has been called "boring", and when Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards, moderators had to disable comments on an Instagram post and delete over 500 because debate became so abusive. On the day she was announced as patron of four charities and visited one of them, Smart Works, trolls targeted Meghan with a string of criticisms including accusing her of faking her pregnancy to get attention, trying too hard, walking strangely, touching her baby bump too often, and being too thin.


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    social media abuse, trolls, online abuse, social media, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, United Kingdom
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