Earlier this week, the British royal family announced a set of social media guidelines to create a “safe environment” against commentary considered to be discriminatory, threatening, abusive, hateful, and violent, to name a few.
Although Kensington Palace didn’t cite a particular reason for more diligent protocols, sources told CNN that the royal family was taking social media precautions given a rise in “racist online abuse” targeting Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle ever since she announced her pregnancy.
The Palace has reportedly hired more staff to delete negative comments and installed programs that will bar out use of the n-word, as well as emoji weaponry.
Although online abuse isn’t new to the royal couple–Prince Harry released a statement in 2016 condemning “the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls” towards his then-girlfriend–there is a separate, insidious nature to recent attacks.
After analyzing 5,000 anti-Meghan tweets between January and February, advocacy group Hope Not Hate told CNN that only 20 accounts were responsible for sharing 70% of negative tweets containing abusive pictures, hashtags, and memes.
CNN writes, “The fact that such a small number of users generated such a large number of the tweets suggests that the accounts were created for the purpose of producing negative content about the duchess.”
Many of the accounts reportedly used hashtags touting political ideologies of the British and American right, including #Brexit and #MAGA, but Hope Not Hate noted that there wasn’t any evidence that this was an organized far-right campaign against Markle.