Prince Harry is certain misinformation spread through social media was a key component in the planning of the Jan. 6 U.S. capitol riot.
The Duke of Sussex argues in a new Fast Company Q&A that, “dominant online platforms have contributed to and stoked the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health and a crisis of truth.”
“We are losing loved ones to conspiracy theories,” he went on, “losing a sense of self because of the barrage of mistruths, and at the largest scale, losing our democracies.”
When asked about the “well-documented online harassment” he and wife Meghan Markle experienced while in the UK, Harry says that false reports circulated through social media contributed greatly.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Harry also addressed tech giants such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook banning former President Trump, and while he didn’t mention Trump directly, he feels corporations have every right to regulate those whom they feel misuse the platform.
“We have seen time and again what happens when the real-world cost of misinformation is disregarded,” he continued. “There is no way to downplay this. There was a literal attack on democracy in the United States, organized on social media, which is an issue of violent extremism.”
Last week, it was reported that Harry and Meghan will likely quit social media altogether due to the “hate” they’ve received.