The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had a complex relationship with social media in recent years. In 2020, the pair distanced themselves from social media platforms - announcing the end of the Sussex Royal account - and previously called for social media reform to help combat the digital “crisis of truth.” Now, Prince Harry has expressed his concerns about how social media impacts children, revealing that Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana are inspiring him to make a change.
As per People, Harry joined the 5Rights Foundation during the launch of the Global Child Online Safety Toolkit webinar on May 16 and spoke of the potential negative effects of social media on young children.
Speaking from his California home, the Duke revealed that he and Markle are “concerned about the next generation” who he worries are being “treated as digital experiments for companies to make money and where things like hatred and harm are somehow normalised.”
“We want our children and all children to feel empowered to speak up,” Harry shared, adding that his two young children, Archie and Lilibet, are “still at their age of innocence.”
“Sometimes I feel like I can keep them away from the online harm that they could face in the future forever, but I'm learning to know better.” The Duke of Sussex continued, “I'm lucky enough to be a father with a platform ... My kids are too young to have experienced the online world yet, and I hope they never have to experience it as it exists now. No kid should have to.”
Appearing at the Global Child Online Safety Toolkit launch, Harry opined that social media in its current form “isn't working and needs to be fixed,” adding that major social media platforms are designed to “pull us in, keep us scrolling, get us angry or anxious — or make us numb to the world around us.”
As mentioned, this isn’t the first time Prince Harry has spoken out about the need for change in the sphere of social media. Back in 2020, the Sussexes joined four young leaders from around the world to discuss how the digital world can be used as a force for good. “People are going online more than ever before to feel community,” Markle said during a zoom call while discussing the importance of positive online experiences.