Prince Harry & Meghan on online life: ‘This is global crisis, a global crisis of hate’

United States President Donald J. Trump returns to the White House

The Duke and Duchess of Montecito did their Time100 Talks episode yesterday. I only watched a few clips, but it looked substantive and interesting. The theme was “Engineering a Better World,” and it was all about the flow of information, hate speech online, etc. Harry and Meghan looked at each other adoringly throughout, and I’m still flabbergasted by how long Meghan’s hair has gotten! Harry, on the other hand, seemed to have a fresh haircut. Some highlights from their talk:

Meg on life in pandemic: “All things considered, everyone is grappling with a different version of the same thing. For us, we’re trying to embrace all of the quality time we get with our son right now and to not miss a single moment of his growth and development, which has been really special.” Harry added, “We have the opportunity to spend more time as a family than we would otherwise.”

Harry on checking in with people: “I think when people ask, ‘How are you?’ I sense, you know, it’s a case of ‘Really, how are you?’ Before this year, I think everyone sort of throws that term around and everyone’s satisfied with a ‘Yeah, I’m good. I’m fine, thanks.’ And then it’s moving on to something else. But I think you’re quite right. This year, more so than ever, it really is a question of ‘No, no, no. Actually, how are you?’ ”

Meg on online life: “It can feel really overwhelming to try to understand all the nuance of what happens online. It is all-encompassing and it affects us at a multi-faceted level. And so we started with professors and experts in the field, with defectors from some of the largest platforms, neurologists — people to really help us view it through a holistic approach. And in that there have been relationships, and now friendships, that we have formed with a lot of these people who have a shared goal of wanting to make this space healthier and better for all of us.”

Harry on online hate: “What is happening in the online world is affecting the world. It is not restricted to certain platforms or certain social media conversations or groups. This is a global crisis—a global crisis of hate, a global crisis of misinformation, and a global health crisis.”

Meghan on the multifaceted problem: “Both of us realized that we can continue to champion these things that we’re passionate about. We can continue to do this work to try to affect change and help the people who need it most or the communities or environments that need it most, but it’s almost like you’re taking two steps forward and five steps backward if you can’t get to the root cause of the problem. Which at this point right now we see in a large way as a lot of what’s happening in the tech space…This isn’t just a tech problem. This isn’t solely a mental health or emotional wellbeing problem. This is a human problem. And what’s happening to all of us online is affecting us deeply offline.”

[From Time & People]

The conversation about mental health being affected by online life (social media, hate/bullying campaigns which fester online) is connected to the rise in online hate speech, and frankly, all of the Nazis and misinformation and violent sh-t. It’s all connected, and I’m glad that Harry and Meghan are speaking about in the larger sense. It reminds me of the fact that Prince William tried to make “online bullying” into one of his causes, only to abandon it after a year or two. In William’s case, it came across as navel-gazing, limited to only “don’t say mean things about ME.” Harry and Meghan are attaching themselves to the larger conversations about “Facebook is fostering enormous propaganda campaigns” and “please get the Nazis off Twitter,” etc.

United States President Donald J. Trump returns to the White House

Screencaps courtesy of Time.

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74 Responses to “Prince Harry & Meghan on online life: ‘This is global crisis, a global crisis of hate’”

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  1. lanne says:

    RF lost a couple of bad bitches! When have we ever seen such focus and commitment from Cain and unable?

    • AnnaKist says:

      Hmmm. Let’s see…. Oh. That was a rhetorical question.
      And you’re right, Janne, the BRF really lost the two shiniest gems of the crown, but they will never acknowledge their despicable treatment of the future king’s son and his wife. They learned absolutely nothing from the Diana – Harry’s mother, ffs – story. I really feel for Harry and Meghan. That they took such serious action as to cut themselves off from his family to live in another continent, speaks volumes about how much they must have suffered. I hope they go on to do or create something big, beautiful, magical, life-affirming, life-changing; something that will seal their place in history.
      On a shallow note, I love Meghan’s hair like this.

    • Love says:

      You are sooo right! H&M really are the gold standard. This whole thing is 2 hours long, and already has 85k views on YT (this doesn’t even count how many Time has) in less than 24 hours

      Cain on the other hand, has an 8 minute Ted that’s bout 105k views. In a whole week. The Teenager Therapy Episode has more downloads Too.

      Not hard to see who the rockstars were… and *who* could have pushed said rockstars out 😏

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        Gotta say, I signed up to see them (not so much to hear the content *ducks* 😁). I was also hoping it might be one of the vides where Archie might toddle in at the end. Alas no….le sigh.

        But it was still quite interesting.

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      I find it ironic that in a post about Harry & Meghan talking about on-line hate speeches, you reference two people with ugly nicknames. If they can’t even get through to their ardent fans, I fear they are working on a lost cause.

      I actually really like what they are saying. I just wish we could apply it across the board to everyone and stop with the nasty names for everyone.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        Did H/M call anyone out of their names? No, I don’t believe they did so I don’t get your second paragraph.

        The go high when others go low is practiced almost exclusively by people on the left, people more likely to support H/M and women and LGBTQ… and any human rights cause. Of course, it doesn’t work on awful people like the BM and the BRF. When awful people are snarked at, or named called, I think that’s the least they deserve for the awful things they do to destroy lives. Not everyone can constantly and consistently go high when others stay low, this is a burden that good people should not have to constantly carry. Instead of complaining about people calling awful people childish names, how about wading into the murky depths of some online forums and asking those awful people to do better.

      • GuestWho says:

        I think it’s a little ironic that you think they are talking about snarky name calling.

        Should we maybe be a little more mature when talking about people who are kind of sh**ty? Perhaps – but calling them (very) clever (and accurate) names is not on the level of misinformation and the targeted LARGE SCALE smearing of a woman’s reputation because she didn’t kneel to some perceived divine right to silence her.

        Their work on hate speech isn’t about snark.

      • ticktock says:

        @Brandy Alexander – well said!

      • Nic919 says:

        We could say the same about William and his public stance on cyber bullying. Clearly the Cambridges have failed in promoting this cause when their most ardent fans are some of the most hateful and racist posters out there.

      • CC says:

        Look i get that mean names in general are not nice but i think people need to understand that they were talking more about dangerous rhetoric, targeted harassment, misinformation and bots rather than ‘someone called someone else a mean name on another platform’.

        I’m sure they would rather us be nice, i get it. But i think we need to be accurate about what they’re looking at because you already have white nationalists on the time YouTube channel saying theyre going to censor white people

  2. Seraphina says:

    I skimmed various news articles today. Daily mail had body language experts and they were not kind. They never are, So sad that everything they do is spun in a negative way. I cannot imagine what it would be like had they stayed to be the BRF’s Puppets and then Wills. I don’t blame them for leaving.

    • Myra says:

      The best thing I ever did was to stop clicking on Dailymail articles. I also decided to give up quite a few other UK outlets which was hard at first. Now I’m careful on the news I consume and even extra diligent about some of the writers. It did wonders for my own mental health. The Daily mail will likely never change until people stop clicking or advertisers stop paying for hate and disinformation.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        I stopped reading the Daily Fail when the engagement was announced. The hate was just too much. I also block them on every app so I don’t accidentally get their negativity on my timeline.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      I gotta admit, I do go into The Fail, but just so I can go defend M&H, and troll their Neanderthal base lol. A guilty pleasure calling them out, tho they rarely “get it”…,but “I” do!

    • Korra says:

      Lol, those body language experts are something else. I remember an article that had a reading on Kate and Will’s body language while maybe touring Ireland? There was some real BS about Kate feeling confident, supportive of Will and understanding the weight of the monarchy is on her shoulders. I mean, WTF! I can understand being able to infer the first two while reading someone’s body language, but trying to find anything deeper beyond that is just pseudo science nonsense.

  3. Sofia says:

    I did enjoy the talk. Good content and on a superficial sense, they looked great.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I was pleasantly surprised at the content which I thoroughly enjoyed but even more surprised at Harry being a really good moderator. I feel that the world is their oyster. They are willing to work and are both easy on the eye, so I wish them every success. I am looking forward to more such talks.

      • Islandgirl says:

        I was pleasantly surprised at the number of persons who were pleasantly surprised at the content. The number of people who said that they intended to watch only a few minutes but found the sessions so engaging that they watched the whole thing.

        Kudos to you Harry and Meghan…

      • bamaborn says:

        It’s like Duchess Meghan’s confidence has rubbed off on him. They both looked relaxed and pleased with their life’s direction.

      • Gina says:

        Same here! I especially enjoyed Harry’s conversation with Maria and Renee. Very interesting conversation with some innovative, at least for me, approach . Three of them were amazing!

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      They looked amazing was the first thing I noticed. So relaxed and I loved the way they looked at each other.

  4. Becks1 says:

    They’re so right. Social media and the internet in general just…..encourage? enable? allow? I cant think of the best word….so much hate and division. One of the benefits of the internet is that you can meet people with similar interests and feel like you’re not alone in that interest (my first internet community experience was high school when I found a Fleetwood Mac message board and “met” other people who loved FM and didn’t think it was weird that I was born in 1982 and was 16 and had just bought Rumours two months before). And I mean now…I spend a lot of time talking about the royals online, lol.

    But the flip side is that if your interests are less benign than wanting to discuss your favorite song on Tusk, then you can also find that group of people and feel empowered, but in a bad way. And that’s where the hate and misinformation come into play. Look at Qanon. I mean we have always had conspiracy theories, I’m sure a few of us here have ones that we buy into it, but Qanon is a whole different beast and its because of the online community. And it is harmful and dangerous.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Yes. It all starts with interest and some people get persuaded down some very dark side alleys on the web. Those who tend to be natuaral followers are so easily misled and persuaded to join things that on their own they never would have sought out. This is part of the problem with the way most popular sites are set up. They recommend things that engages peoples emotions and not everyone can control themselves and the next thing that follower has become a Qanon believer.

  5. CJ says:

    It’s so refreshing to see royal figureheads take on an issue and openly refer to speaking with experts then show some understanding of what the experts have told them!

    I know it’s just everyday common work practice for most of us, but Kate’s struggle survey and all the flummery around her broken Britain/early years project has really soured me to royals tackling these big concerns. It’s nice to hear from H&M in a way that doesn’t seem to brush aside all the people whose job it is to know/study this stuff, but instead leaves me thinking that they’ll continue to uplift the work already happening.

    • Becks1 says:

      KP made a mistake when they decided to start painting Kate as the expert. Yes they would say she “held meetings” but they had all these people give talking points about how she was so credible and really was at the forefront of the research or her survey was so cutting edge and it frankly was an insult to the real experts and researchers. and I think for many it made Kate LOSE credibility because it became such a joke.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        Exactly Becks1. KP over egged the pudding with Kate. She is not a natural and she is not interested in learning. However, they could have channeled her degree, love of children and photography into coming up with well thought out, tangible initiatives that yield results. One gets the feeling that all her initiatives are rushed and they latch her onto anything as long as it takes attention away from the other duchess. People always end up talking about her clothes which is a waste after the high hopes we all had for her.

      • Lizzie says:

        Thank you Elizabeth Regina! I had to look up ‘over egged the pudding’. It perfectly describes the BM and Kate.

      • Kalana says:

        That’s all Kate with the posturing about being an expert. At that point the courtiers can’t do anything. William did the same with Earthshot. Their egos are out of control

        Kate is a top CEO and William is a statesman.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Yeah, I liked that they referenced the work of others and what they’ve learned from them. This highlights those peoples hard work and bring awareness. It’s basically giving credit not unlike a research paper quoting an article, or book.

  6. Harla says:

    I watched the entire show and must say it was super interesting and informative. The speakers they choose really knew their stuff and could explain it all in a very understandable way. Finding out what these companies are allowing on their sites and how the “normalization “ of hate, racism and misogyny is working was really eye opening. I admit that I tuned in because of Harry and Meghan but stayed the whole 2 hours because of the speakers. If you haven’t watched it, please do.

    • ABritGuest says:

      I agree I didn’t think I would find it so interesting but they really chose some great experts to speak on these issues. Safiya Noble and Maria Nessa were my favourites. Alexis was very impressive too. I liked that they asked for practical take homes for listeners. Great job. As I said the other day, think more royals should do this (forums where they pass the mic to the experts) for social issues they focus on

      I like that the pros of social media were highlighted like with helping with organising when it comes to black lives matter as well as the negatives. Alexis’ point about need to de radicalise people who have found negative communities online was so interesting too.

      • Couch potato says:

        Not the same, but crown princess Mette Marit of Norway has interviewed quite a few authors on stage the last few years. As a part of her “literature train”. In the last interview she admitted she’d made her husband blush after reading a sex scene for him.

    • PEARL GREY says:

      “I admit that I tuned in because of Harry and Meghan but stayed the whole 2 hours because of the speakers. If you haven’t watched it, please do.”

      And that is the beauty of Meghan and Harry. They each have their own strong support bases as individuals and as a couple, that attract people to the organisations they highlight who otherwise may not have heard of it or been interested. They use their platform to promote great work that is being done by others and not just their own, and they know how to present it to their fans for maximum effect. Having that star quality isn’t something that can be learned, it just comes from being two dynamic individuals who are relatable, likeable and whose genuineness shines through all the attempts to break them down, and who have the intelligence to pick the right projects that are relevant to them and the people who support them. That alone makes them a great asset, and why it’s so sweet to witness all the organisations that are smart enough to recognise what they can bring to the table. It’s a win-win for Harry and a Meghan and the institution they left come out as the biggest losers once again.

    • Millenial says:

      I watched 75% of it last night and it was quite good. I know a fair bit about the academic/professional field they are tapping into and they chose really good speakers, especially Tristan Harris and Safiyah Noble.

      Alexis I could have done without. I think any capitalist argument (e.g. it’s good for business!) for cleaning up tech are… not great.

      • Harla says:

        @Millenial, the capitalist argument is one that hits the CEOs of these companies where they live. They might not be interested in changing their platform to make the world a kinder place but tell them that it can increase their revenue and you have their attention. It’s important to engage with people at the level they are on not the level you’re on or they just won’t get it.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        @Harla, I agree with what you say here about engaging with people where they are instead of just the level you are on. I think this has been the major failure of the Democratic party over the years. In their quest for perfection, they often overlook, or turn off diamonds who could really move the party forward, or just get out and vote every time. @Millenial the team was excellent and everyone had very insightful things to say, I was very impress.

    • Jean says:

      I whole heartedly agree with Pearl Grey. It’s a must watch.

  7. Lexistential says:

    The BRF and courtiers are so, so stupid. For them to have advocated holding back Harry’s and Meghan’s eagerness to work (and its substantive directions) in favor of hierarchy, “tradition”, and embiggening Cain and Unable Cambridge is totally ridiculous.

    Brava Harry and Meghan. I am so sick of the effects of misinformation and I would to see solutions to our online issues. It is deeply ironic for Harry and Meghan to champion online change since the BRF colluded with UK tabloids to relentlessly subject them to misinformation themselves (and still do it to try “keeping them in line”), and it’s another damn shame the BRF would rather try breaking them than helping them.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      The BRF isn’t interested in changing! They are interested in keeping the gravy train running – they are not interested in effecting real change and actually helping people. Their charitable endeavours have always been a front, a PR tool to ensure their survival. Wanting to save the world (as someone described Harry and Meghan’s ambition) is not what the Crown is about (the institution, its members and its advisors). The Crown is about preserving itself and it is accountable to no one but God (in its own ideology).

      • Nic919 says:

        This is it. The BRF is grifting the British tax paying public because they really don’t care about changing things so much as looking like they care. Billy and Cathy are making it a bit too obvious that they will only do the bare minimum to look like they are doing something of value. They aren’t.

      • Lexistential says:

        @ArtHistorian Oh ITA. At this point, the BRF and courtiers are a bunch of calcified people determined to never change. And because keeping their jobs is reliant on toeing the “never change” line, no actual change can happen or flourish. They definitely agree on making it look like the royals are forces for change, but their biggest interest is preserving taxpayer funding and keeping it unquestioned.

        (Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are the real royals in the room. And these idiots will keep trying to tear them down and keep embiggening THEM.)

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      This is the perfect issue to champion for these two because they have been harmed by the effects of this new method of online bullying. I’m sure those who engage in it to destroy H/M are really hoping nothing change since this is all they have with which to beat these two.

  8. Smices says:

    I loved the talk. Especially Alexis Ohanian and his comparison of media companies to beer hall owners. And he and Meghan discussing being in interracial marriages and wanting a better world for their children.

    I also signed up for the Somewhere Good website when it launches. As a POC I need more places of positivity.

  9. Kalana says:

    It’s unfortunate that the pandemic is holding them back. It would be nice to see a project from them. What they say is valid but the talks are starting to blur together a little for me but that’s not on them. It feels like all this is building towards something so it will be interesting to see what that is,

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    They really are the only royals in the room.

  11. Jean says:

    I was only able to watch half of the program….two interviews. Yesterday was a busy day for me. I will watch the rest today…I was compelled to watch it because I found it very interesting. It captured my interest. It got me thinking. Personally, I think it should be on television so that others can see it and think about the issues.

  12. aang says:

    While I am enjoying the slower pace of life and like spending time with my young adult children who are living with us at the moment I’m careful to whom I express this feeling. 200,000+ people are dead and countless are struggling to make ends meet and access childcare. I know I’m super privileged to have been unaffected so far. I’m glad they are enjoying themselves and understand the whole lemons/lemonade thing but while many people may have lemons they don’t have the sugar of millions of dollars with which to sweeten the lemons. And it sounds a little tone deaf to me.

    • notasugarhere says:

      And if they were just sitting in the mansion they paid for with their own money, doing nothing for charity work? They’d be even more criticized.

    • GuestWho says:

      if they said anything remotely negative about being in lock down, they would be slammed by the media for being “tone deaf” too – oh, how sad they are trapped in their huge mansion with their eleventy million bathrooms. They can’t win. They just expressed pleasure at the fact that they get to spend time with their son and experience his milestones. They didn’t wax poetic about the solitude or time on their hands.

    • Lizzie says:

      It was not tone deaf at all. They were asked how they were getting on and they both expressed appreciation for the time together as a family.

      • Bettyrose says:

        What else can one do but see the silver lining? Staying home is exactly what is needed now. It’s not only not insensitive to those who’ve suffered but encouraging people to stay home through positive messages helps slow the spread.

      • Lizzie says:

        Also, why the need to call out that they have ‘millions of dollars’. Cheep shot?

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      One of the things I loved that Harry said a couple of time during zoom projects was how fortunate they are in their situation of having a nice home and land outside. He and Meghan both have repeatedly acknowledged those people who live in “high rise” as Harry puts it and not able to enjoy outdoor spaces for lengthy stretches of time. They are finding the silver lining in the situation like we all are to stay sane. Theirs is that they are spending more time as a family than would be possible in normal circumstances. They are not complaining about lock down, which would be the tone deaf thing to do. They like anyone in a position to work from home right now are choosing to see the good aspect of the situation as they should.

    • equality says:

      So where do you draw lines? Should people stop posting recipes and pictures of what they had for dinner on social media because others don’t have food? Nobody can talk about their life because somebody else may have it worse somewhere in the world? I’m fortunate enough to live on a farm so I can get outdoors easily without worrying about restrictions. So I’m not allowed to say this is what I’m doing while restricting time in public because of the pandemic because other people can’t get out as easily? I don’t have millions but it doesn’t bother me to see others spend the money they have on luxury items especially if it is a celebrity who also gives time/money to good causes. Being rich or privileged also creates its own set of restrictions in freedoms that I wouldn’t want. Nobody’s life is perfect.

    • MissySnow says:

      H&M were doing charity work before and during the pandemic and drawing our attention to others in need, so I don’t see them as being tone deaf. The couple already acknowledge that they are in a good place with their situation and shedding a light on those in need.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I get this criticism because so many people are struggling. I think what they’re trying to express is their gratitude and knowing they are lucky to be able to have this time. A lot of people I know aren’t as hard hit by Covid, can work from home, still take weekends away and aren’t feeling it, because of higher incomes and being able to distance. I’m personally feeling the stress of trying to manage at home with kids at Zoom schooling and work demands. This was brought up on Teenager Therapy podcast when one of the kids said they felt really happy right now but also felt guilty about it. Anyway, that wasn’t the focus of the talks but, we feel the way we feel and that’s ok.

  13. Lemons says:

    They are so right. I’ve been thinking about this so much. I’m considering deleting my FB account, but because I want to start a business soon, I know a digital presence is needed…Anyways…

    We have an entire 2-3 generations of grown-ass adults and boomers who use the internet without ever being educated on HOW to use it. They are all stumbling along through the depths of the internet without being computer literate. They take everything at face value. They don’t understand Facebook is an echo chamber and are so easily sucked in.

    Combine that population with the idiots in high school who were able to get a job and procreate and now they are EXPERTS in everything. Except for when they are not but they will STILL have an opinion. They never bothered to learn how to correctly research a subject. But their opinions matter bEcAusE.

    And it feels like this easily influence populace is becoming a sizeable portion of our collective societies to the detriment of us all. While we should we working towards saving our planet, eradicating cancer and disease, and perhaps venturing out among the stars…we’re still arguing with people who think that the color of their skin or their caste makes them better and more deserving. We’re still trying to argue with people about the value of other human lives. We’re still trying to create a just system and not one built on believing in imaginary gods and bootstraps.

    We’re so far from progress right now…

    • Mignionette says:

      I deliberately no longer use FB and have deleted all personal info. I also un-linked it from google which is how FB really make money…..

    • Bloemheks says:

      I ghosted Facebook while still maintaining an account because my kids have extra-curricular’s where Facebook is the only way they communicate with parents.

      I posted this video without comment:

      Then I just quit interacting not just with others, but with the interface itself.

      I’ve always got 80+ notifications which I never click on. I never look at, dismiss, or accept friend requests. When my birthday rolled around last year I didn’t notice people had wished me a happy birthday until months later, because my browser favorite for Facebook goes directly to the group for my kid’s activity and not my page. I didn’t reply or like any of the comments. I highly doubt anyone was offended as it had been almost 2 years since my last post. When you ghost Facebook it’s pretty easy for people to pick up on as long as you are dedicated to not logging in except when necessary and only interacting with what is necessary.

      When you set up a business your business has its own page and interacts with the rest of Facebook as if it were an independent account.

  14. one of the Marys says:

    My first reaction to this is fear unfortunately. There are stakeholders that are invested in the exact opposite. Companies, politicians, countries are using the internet to control and manipulate people. Russia doesn’t fool around!

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      At some point everyone of us are going to have to decide what we are willing to die for. We have to stand for something and be willing to champion that, it’s how the human race has survive thus far. H/M believe in this and are willing to lend their voices and whatever support they can to make a difference in this area and I applaud them.

  15. Bettyrose says:

    I was just commenting to a co-worker that we’re genuinely checking in on one another these days. Even the “I hope this email finds you well…” is a genuine statement of hoping not to learn the recipient or their family is hospitalized. Wonder how this will transition to the post pandemic world.

  16. candy says:

    I have to use facebook as well as other social media platforms for work. I wish they would talk about how it’s kind of a requirement nowadays and not always optional to delete. But they are doing great work and their message is true.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      The answer is not necessarily to get rid of it, but by making people more aware of the deliberate campaign of hate messaging maybe they will proceed more cautiously and double check the information they view instead of taking everything they read at face value.

      • candy says:

        Oh that’s good. My understanding is that there is a boycott called Stop Hate for Profit, which they joined. This demands companies to stop using facebook and its affiliates for advertising and commercial use. Not sure if that came up in the talk.

    • ABritGuest says:

      The talk with Safiya and Tristan & with Alexis did talk about the positives of SM. They also acknowledged that it’s a type of media that is here to stay so that’s why proper regulation may be required. Also discussed some practical tips for users on regulating use and discerning new sources

  17. Lizzie says:


  18. Marie says:

    The Duke and Duchess of Montecito hahaha! Perfect!

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Yeah, I love that too and since she said it the other day that’s how I think of them now.

  19. yinyang says:

    Double Post