Kensington Palace is being dragged, fingernails scrabbling hopelessly at the marble floors, into the great fiery hellmouth that is the social media fandom turf wars. Not even a thousand years of court politics could have prepared them for Instagram.
The Guardian reported:
Kensington Palace has been forced to seek advice from social media companies over online abuse and physical threats, some aimed at the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex.
The high level of vitriol and abuse on the royal family’s platforms has meant staff have to spend several hours a week moderating and deleting posts, which include racist and sexist abuse as well as threatening remarks.
Officials have now sought help from Instagram to deal with the problem.
Much of it isn’t even directed at the royals themselves—a lot of what they’re seeing is fighting between fans of the Duchess of Sussex and fans of the Duchess of Cambridge, and the media storyline about a supposed rivalry between the two isn’t helping matters. Let’s look at the comments on a recent Instagram post, covering Meghan’s visit to the Mayhew animal shelter. One comment demands to know why all the negative remarks about Meghan are left up (apparently the Palace takes a light hand in deleting criticism that isn’t outright abuse); another offers a great example of how the comments spiral out into conflict between the two camps, which will be familiar to anybody who’s scrolled through any celebrity’s comments lately:
For someone who is a non-supporter, you sure do follow a lot of Meghan fan pages! For someone you has no posts and follow Meghan sites, you are definitely a troll who likes to imsult one Duchess to make the other Duchess look good! We get it you love Meghan; however, you definitely do not follow what Meghan preaches, which is women supporting women!
But it’s not just a proxy war; Meghan definitely gets direct, hostile comments. Examples here include “SNAKEEEEEEE” and “Dog abandoner, dog killer.” And she’s long received a specific racist type of abuse. Via the Guardian:
Last year, the Mail on Sunday reported that abusive comments on the Kensington Palace site about Meghan had remained up for days and included allegations she bleached her skin to look whiter, while others called her “tacky” and “trashy”. One made reference to “the ghetto”.
Being a princess seems like a pretty raw deal, frankly.