Prince Harry says he wants to protect his children from ‘online harm’

‘We want our children and all children to feel empowered to speak up’

Amber Raiken
New York
Monday 16 May 2022 23:22
Comments

Related video: Prince Harry says social media needs to stop spreading misinformation

Prince Harry has spoken candidly about fatherhood and how he and his wife Megan Markle want to protect their children from “online harm,” while also encouraging them to “speak up”.

The Duke of Sussex discussed social media and how it can affect his three-year-old son Archie and 11-month-old daughter Lilibet on Monday at 5Rights Foundation’s webinar launch for its Global Child Online Safety Toolkit.

According to Prince Harry, he and Markle are worried about how the “next generation,” including his children, could be treated unkindly online.

“As parents, my wife and I are concerned about the next generation growing up in a world where they are treated as digital experiments for companies to make money and where things like hatred and harm are somehow normalised,” he said during the webinar, according to The Daily Mail.

“We want our children and all children to feel empowered to speak up,” he added.

He noted that because Lilibet and Archie are still so young and haven’t use social media yet, he hopes that he’ll be able to protect them from “online harm”.

“My two little ones are still at their age of innocence,” he continued. “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 went on to note how through “the way [he and his family has] experienced technology,” they’ve come to discover that “social media isn’t working and needs to be fixed”. With that in mind, he said that he hopes his children will never have to experience the “online world” as “it exists now”

“I’m not an expert on law or technology but I am a father - and I’m lucky enough to be a father with a platform,” he added.

“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.”

Prince Harry also acknowledged how important it is to transform social media into a safe space for all children everywhere.

“We are at a critical moment, where it will take all of us working together to listen and respond to make sure every child can grow up in a digital age that allows them to thrive,” he said.

According to the company’s official press release, 5Rights Foundation’s toolkit is “a roadmap for policymakers and practitioners building a digital world that supports children and enables them to flourish, online and beyond”. The Tookit was also created to help policymakers “uphold children’s rights in the digital world”.

Prince Harry has previously shared his thoughts about social media, highlighting how powerful it can be and what good things it can offer people.

“The truth is, despite its well-documented ills, social media can offer a means of connecting and community, which are vital to us as human beings,” he told Fast Company in January 2021. “We need to hear each other’s stories and be able to share our own. That’s part of the beauty of life.”

However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not been active on social media for more than two years, as they shared their last post on their joint Instagram account in March 2020, shortly after stepping down from their royal duties.

During his interview with Fast Company, Prince Harry noted that his lack of social media presence doesn’t necessarily mean that he and his wife will never reactivate their accounts.

“We will revisit social media when it feels right for us—perhaps when we see more meaningful commitments to change or reform—but right now we’ve thrown much of our energy into learning about this space and how we can help,” he said at the time.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in