British royal family bans 'abusive, hateful, inflammatory' comments on its social media accounts after a deluge of angry, racist posts about Meghan Markle

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesKate Middleton and Meghan Markle have been the subjects of critical comments on social media.
  • The British Royal Family has released “Social Media Community Guidelines.”
  • The guidelines come after both Kensington Palace and Instagram had to step in over angry, racist comments being posted about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
  • INSIDER found dozens of critical comments live on the Palace’s official Twitter and Instagram pages when analysing both social media accounts in January.
  • The guidelines suggest social media users must not be “abusive” or “hateful,” among other things.

The British royal family published a set of “Social Media Community Guidelines” after both Kensington Palace and Instagram had to step in over angry, racist comments being posted about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.

Comments on what Markle and Middleton wear, where they come from, and their appearances frequently appear under posts on Kensington Palace’s Twitter and Instagram pages, INSIDER’s Bill Bostock reported in January.

A source told INSIDER that royal staff members have been monitoring comments on Kensington Palace’s Twitter and Instagram pages since they launched.

However, after noticing the comments getting worse, the Palace reportedly asked for help from the social media platforms, both of which reportedly “offered support.”


Read more: Angry, racist comments about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are so bad that Kensington Palace and Instagram have stepped in

INSIDER found dozens of live critical comments when analysing both social media accounts in January.

The new guidelines were published by officials working for Clarence House, the office of Prince Charles.

But say they apply to all royal social channels – including the Queen’s, and those run by Kensington Palace, which is the joint office of Prince Harry, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Kate Middleton.

“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,” the guidelines state.

“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 post goes on to add that by engaging with the royal social channels, users agree to the guidelines, which are then laid out.

According to the guidelines:

Comments must not:

  • Contain spam, be defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence.
  • Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Breach any of the terms of any of the social media platforms themselves.
  • Be off-topic, irrelevant or unintelligible.
  • Contain any advertising or promote any services.

Previously, Kensington Palace officials said they tended to leave comments that are generally critical of members of the royal family, and only take action against extreme language and particularly racism.

However, the guidelines go on to say: “We reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our guidelines. We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines.

“We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law.”

According to Hello! magazine, Kensington Palace staff members have been known to spend hours each week reporting hateful comments directed at the duchesses, while a royal source told Hello!: “They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious.”

Neither Markle nor Middleton has her own personal social media accounts – Markle shut down her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages in January 2018 after her engagement to Prince Harry.

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