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.
#HelloToKindness is a sticking plaster on the gaping wound that is the media coverage fuelling hate towards Meghan.— Jennifer 🔮 (@LadySassington) January 28, 2019
But! It’s still a bloody good start and worthy of praise for at least drawing everyones attention to the problem. The rug has been ripped back & hate exposed.
"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.
It’s time to say goodbye to negativity! @hellomag has always celebrated the good and the positive. Please join us in our campaign to make social media a kinder and better place — no more trolling and nastiness 😊 Spread the word with #hellotokindness! Let’s get this trending! 💓 pic.twitter.com/G6M5CYI85q— Ainhoa Barcelona (@AinhoaBarcelona) January 28, 2019
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.
I must say any RRs whose paper (online or not) promoted this fake pregnancy story please kindly sit out of this #HelloToKindness conversation altogether. You are complicit.— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) January 28, 2019
This campaign is nothing more than pure hypocrisy. As if the British press was not responsible for instigating the hatred against Meghan in these almost three years. It is very easy to exempt yourself from responsibility when you are part of the problem. #HelloToKindness https://t.co/jxrfnEMDEn— TatiNV1 (@TatiNV1) January 28, 2019