Prince Harry and Meghan are focusing their efforts to convey the messages of digital space experts to everyday users, the Duke himself has revealed. The Duke of Sussex spoke about what his and Meghan’s job is at the moment as they continue to work behind the scenes on their Archewell Foundation.
Speaking to Time magazine editor-in-chief and CEO, Edward Felsenthal, Prince Harry said: “What our job is, especially throughout these conversations, is to get people to the experts and for them to explain how what is happening in the online space 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, of global misinformation and a global health crisis.”
Further explaining how they are positioning themselves in this debate focused on social media, the Duke of Sussex said neither him nor the Duchess has any expertise in this field but they are able to “convene the experts” who can make people more aware of the problem.
Meghan and Harry have yet-to-launch their non-for-profit organisation, Archewell.
But they have already made it clear the creation of a fair and safe online space is one of the building blocks of their foundation.
During her first conversation at the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women summit in late September, Meghan said: “Part of our focus with the Archewell Foundation is to just ensure that we are helping foster healthy positive communities – online and off – for our collective wellbeing.”
Yesterday, Meghan and Harry led a 90-minute discussion with journalists, content creators, experts and tech giants in a panel called “Engineering a Better World”.
During this discussion, part of the Time 100 Talks series, Meghan further explained why they started to focus their attention on the online world.
After having worked on causes they deeply care about for years, from female empowerment to the climate issue, both Meghan and Harry realised they could only make a long-lasting impact within a different digital space.
She said: “Both of us realised that we can continue to champion these things that we’re passionate about.
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“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.”
Outlining how vast the implications of an unhealthy online space can be, Meghan added: “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.”
Meghan had already opened up on how the digital space has affected her as a new mother.
Appearing on the podcast Teenager Therapy, the Duchess said: “I can speak personally too, I am told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world – male or female.
“Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave with the baby.
“But what was able to be manufactured and churned out it’s almost unsurvivable, it’s so big you can’t even think what that feels like.
“I don’t care if you are 15 or 25 if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health it’s so damaging.
“So from my standpoint and for the work that we do is that from my personal experience and be able to talk to people and understand that even though our experience is unique to us and obviously can seem very different from what people can experience from day to day, it’s still a human experience and that’s universal.
“We all know what it feels like to have our feelings hurt, we all know what it feels like to be isolated, and I think that’s why the work you guys are doing here it’s so important.”