After consecutive instances of cyber bullying and online abuse, the royal family has released a set of social media guidelines. According to the official release, "These guidelines are in place to help create a safe environment on all social media channels run by The Royal Family, Clarence House and Kensington Palace." The statement continues, "The aim of our social media channels is to create an environment where our community can engage safely in debate and is free to make comments, questions and suggestions. We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities."
The guidelines prohibit everything from hateful and threatening comments, to "discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age," among other things. The Palace states they reserve the right to hide or delete comments that do not follow the guidelines, and will even report certain comments to law enforcement they deem appropriate.
While the Palace hasn't called out a specific reason for these new guidelines, I think it's pretty clear where the incentive for these rules stemmed from.
Lately, social media, and the media in general, has been running rampant with content about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton. There have been headlines and comments on everything from a supposed heated feud between the two Duchesses to negative remarks regarding Meghan's pregnancy.
Despite neither Meghan nor Kate having their own personal social media accounts, the two have not been able to escape a constant flood of criticism and backlash for basically everything they do. For example, do you remember the below picture of Meghan during her December 2018 appearance at The Fashion Awards in London that sparked an absurd amount of criticism for the Duchess' cradling of her baby bump? (Um, what?) And it has only escalated from there.
Social media is an inherent part of our current culture and can be amazing for connecting people from all corners of the world, but as we all know, there is also a major dark side to the online tool. Users are able to conveniently, and cowardly, hide behind their computer and phone screens, dishing out harsh criticisms and "verbal" abuse without any real repercussions. It's unfortunate that it has escalated to the point that the royal family feels it needs to instate rules, but we can only hope the guidelines serve their purpose and there can be more peace going forward.