Meghan Markle speaks out amid social media abuse
Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, has admitted she doesn’t engage with Twitter or read newspapers, in an effort to avoid “getting muddled” by the “noise,” the UK’s Press Association (PA) news agency reports.
The Duchess made the admission during a panel discussion marking International Women’s Day at King’s College London on Friday.
Asked how she felt about headlines that called her feminism “trendy,” PA reported the 37-year-old Duchess as saying: “I don’t read anything, it’s much safer that way, but equally that’s just my own personal preference, because I think positive or negative, it can all sort of just feel like noise to a certain extent these days, as opposed to getting muddled with that to focus on the real cause.”
“So for me,” she continued, “I think the idea of making the word ‘feminism’ trendy, that doesn’t make any sense to me personally, right? This is something that is going to be part of the conversation forever.”
When asked later if she looked at Twitter, she replied: “No, sorry, no. For me that’s my personal preference.”
Meghan’s remarks come a day after CNN revealed that Britain’s royal family has had to bolster its social media operation due to a rise in racist online abuse targeting the Duchess, who married Prince Harry in May.
In recent months, the communications team at Kensington Palace has been increasingly deleting comments attacking Meghan, while also blocking abusive accounts on both Twitter and Instagram. Officials are also using software to filter out the use of the n-word as well as emojis of guns and knives.
As part of the effort, the royal family issued a set of guidelines last week for people engaging with its social media channels.
Separately, the advocacy group Hope Not Hate analyzed a sample of more than 5,000 tweets containing the most commonly used anti-Meghan hashtags. The analysis of the tweets, posted between January and the middle of February, shows that a tight-knit group of accounts is behind much of the trolling.
CNN contacted Twitter and Instagram for comment. Twitter has since suspended a few of the accounts analyzed.
Meghan hasn’t always steered clear of social media. In the early days of her relationship with Harry, royal fans would fawn over her Instagram feed in the vain hope of deciphering clues about their relationship. However, the then-Meghan Markle shuttered her lifestyle blog “The Tig” and her accompanying Instagram account prior to her wedding.
One royal who isn’t shying away from social platforms is the monarch herself. Queen Elizabeth published her first post on Instagram on Thursday during a visit to London’s Science Museum.
She shared a letter sent by 19th-century mathematician and computer pioneer Charles Babbage to Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.
“Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert,” she wrote as a caption on the official @TheRoyalFamily account.
She signed the post “Elizabeth R.”
By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN