WATCH | Harry, Meghan decry 'global crisis of hate, misinformation' online

Couple 'embracing all of the quality time' they can spend with Archie

21 October 2020 - 10:13
By Jill Serjeant
The Duchess and Duke of Sussex, Meghan and Harry.
Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas - Wpa Pool/Getty Images The Duchess and Duke of Sussex, Meghan and Harry.

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke on Tuesday about their campaign against social media negativity, with Harry warning of a “global crisis of hate” that was affecting people's mental health.

The couple, known officially as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, led an almost two-hour online discussion hosted by Time100 Talks with some of the experts with whom they said they had met this year in their bid to promote more compassion in online forums.

“This is a global crisis. A global crisis of hate, a global crisis of misinformation and a global health crisis,” Harry said in opening remarks for the "Engineering a Better World" discussion.

Harry and Meghan moved to southern California this year after stepping down from their royal roles to forge a more independent life and to escape the hostile British media.

Meghan said it was imperative to make online interactions healthier for everyone.

“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,” she said on Tuesday.

The couple also spoke about how they're spending their time during lockdown, with Meghan revealing that they're focused on spending quality time with their son Archie.

“All things considered, everyone is grappling with a different version of the same thing and for us, we're just 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,” the duchess said.

The duke added: “As Meghan quite rightly said, this is an opportunity to spend more time as a family than we probably would otherwise.”

Meghan said last week that she closed all her personal social media accounts some years ago and did not read what people were saying about her online “for my own self-preservation”.

In a podcast conversation with teens earlier this month to mark World Mental Health Day, Meghan said she had been told that “in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world — male or female”.

Additional reporting by Khanyisile Ngcobo