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Prince Harry Advocates For Change To Today's Online Landscape In New Essay

The Duke of Sussex is committed to making the online world safer and kinder for all.

In a new essay for Fast Company, Prince Harry expresses his concerns about the digital landscape of social media and how large companies need to work towards spreading kindness and compassion online, rather than hate.

This message comes after the launch of the Stop Hate for Profit Campaign in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle led a charge to boycott Facebook advertisements, arguing that the platform does not do enough to quell hate speech in their advertisements, valuing profit more than compassion.

This movement came at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement as the royals partnered with large anti-racism organizations to promote only positive messages during this time.

In this essay, he further explains this imitative and provides calls to actions for large corporations who partake in social media and have the power to change the digital landscape.

On the intersection of BLM and Stop Hate for Profit 

"We did this at the same time as the launch of a civil rights and racial justice campaign called Stop Hate For Profit, which sought to change online policies around hate speech—in this case, policies at Facebook—by urging companies that regularly purchase digital ads on the platform to withhold their advertising spending for the month of July. As of the end of last month, the campaign (led by respected organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and the NAACP) sent a $7 billion message through withheld ad dollars."

The Mission 

"From conversations with experts in this space, we believe we have to remodel the architecture of our online community in a way defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fearmongering; by free, rather than weaponised, speech. This remodeling must include industry leaders from all areas drawing a line in the sand against unacceptable online practices as well as being active participants in the process of establishing new standards for our online world."

On Fear for the Next Generation 

"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."

A Call to Action

"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. This is a moment for companies around the world—companies with business and advertising models directly tied to digital platforms—to consider how they can bring about reform to ensure the betterment of all."

Hope for the Future 

"But this is just the beginning. And our hope is that it's the beginning of a movement where we, as people, place community and connection, tolerance and empathy, and joy and kindness above all."

This essay has the power to change how people view social media and should urge large companies to rethink what they are putting into the world. You can read the full essay here.

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