- Online harassment aimed at Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton is now so bad the royal household has asked social-media companies for help.
- INSIDER found dozens of vitriolic comments in response to Kensington Palace’s Twitter and Instagram feeds.
- Palace sources have said that officials asked for help with the most hateful posts, which were taken offline.
Hateful and racist Instagram and Twitter comments directed at Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are now so bad that Kensington Palace is asking the platforms for help keeping the comments under control.
Royal staff members have been monitoring comments on both pages since they launched, a source told INSIDER, but asked for support from the platforms in recent months when it got worse.
The source said that both platforms offered support in response and that they were helpful in combating the comments. They did not give specifics.
Hello! magazine reported that Kensington Palace staff members were spending hours each week reporting hateful comments directed at the duchesses.
A royal source told Hello!, “They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious.”
“You can delete and report and block people, and the police have options around particular people,” the source said. “It’s something you have to manage because there’s no other way to control it.”
INSIDER understands that Kensington Palace policy is to leave comments that are generally critical of Markle or Middleton but to pursue action against extreme language and particularly racism.
Neither duchess has her own social-media accounts. Markle shut down her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages in January 2018 after her engagement to Prince Harry.
Kensington Palace opened its Twitter account in September 2014 and its Instagram account in January 2015.
INSIDER reviewed both accounts and quickly found dozens of vitriolic comments that were still live.
Markle has also been targeted offline. On February 12, 2018, a packet of white powder was sent to her with a racist note.
Twitter told INSIDER in a statement: “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. Our abusive behaviour policy clearly states that we do not tolerate behaviour that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others.”
Instagram was not immediately able to comment.
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