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- Prince Harry says social media sites need to be held accountable for enabling discussions that led to the storming of the US Capitol.
- The Duke of Sussex spoke to Fast Company in an interview, saying: “There is no way to downplay this.”
- His interview comes shortly after the couple quit social media, following months of hate from users online.
Prince Harry says “time is running out” as he calls for social media reform.
In an interview with Fast Company, the Duke of Sussex spoke candidly about the role social media played in the 2021 storming of the US Capitol. Those involved in the riot used social media platforms such as Parler and Gab, both known for users who are Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists, to organise the 6 January coup.
According to People, Amazon later removed Parler, while most social media sites banned Donald Trump, who incited the riot.
“We have seen time and again what happens when the real-world cost of misinformation is disregarded. There is no way to downplay this,” Prince Harry said in his interview.
He continued: “There was a literal attack on democracy in the United States, organized on social media, which is an issue of violent extremism.” He spoke of misinformation leading to humanitarian crises, noting the genocide in Myanmar and destruction of the Amazon.
Harry went on to speak about accountability, both on the social media platforms’ part, and ours.
“Finally, there’s a responsibility to compassion that we each own. Humans crave connection, social bonds, and a sense of belonging,” he added. “When we don’t have those, we end up fractured, and in the digital age that can unfortunately be a catalyst for finding connection in mass extremism movements or radicalization. We need to take better care of each other, especially in these times of isolation and vulnerability.”
Harry’s interview comes shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to quit social media in both a personal and professional capacity following months of “hate” from online users.