Prince Harry isn’t too happy about social media’s influence and is now speaking about its dangers.
The 35-year-old Duke of Sussex wrote in an essay for Fast Company demanding reforms across social media platforms. He said that he’s more concerned now that he’s a father.
The Prince wrote on behalf of himself and Meghan, asking for strong regulations and explaining how the couple has been pushing industry leaders to adopt “meaningful” change.
“Our message was clear: The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth,” the Duke wrote.
In his essay, he argued that social media is a good platform for enjoyment, but the way technology has advanced has also made it a dangerous place for its many users.
He wrote: “It’s a seemingly free resource for connecting, sharing, and organizing.”
“But it’s not actually free; the cost is high. Every time you click they learn more about you. Our information, private data, and unknown habits are traded on for advertising space and dollars.”
He also explained the product paradox — customers who go online searching for products ultimately, and often unwillingly, become “the product.”
In the opinion piece for the business magazine, he called on advertisers “to use their leverage, including through their advertising dollars, to demand change from the very places that give a safe haven and vehicle of propagation to hate and division”.
After giving up their royal duties, the couple has been seen campaigning against hate speech circulated on online platforms; however, this letter is seen as one of their strongest moves in raising a voice against the perils of the internet.
The couple recently filed a case for privacy invasion against paparazzi for taking pictures of them in their new LA home, and a similar feeling was also seen in his essay.
“Because, if we are susceptible to the coercive forces in digital spaces, then we have to ask ourselves — what does this mean for our children? As a father, this is especially concerning to me,” Harry wrote.
Harry went on to explain how the algorithms used on social media can “drive people down paths towards radicalism and extremism that they might not have taken otherwise.”
He concluded his essay by saying that meaningful digital reform is the need of the time and the roles that regulators and policymakers play is important.
“We need meaningful digital reform, and while the role of policymakers and regulators is important, we can’t just wait for them to take the next steps,” he concluded.
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