What you’re not going to do is troll the royal brides.
So says the British royal family, who is requiring “courtesy, kindness and respect” from the millions who interact with its social media channels, via new guidelines released on Monday. According to CNN, the new measures were put in place in response to an uptick in online abuse targeting Duchesses Meghan and Kate.
At issue? Posts that are “obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence,” or “[p]romote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.”
Apparently, so much offensive rhetoric has been lobbed at the brides of Princes William and Harry that in January, social media firms were hired to help quell the abuse.
Predictably, most of the vitriol directed at the two royals is sexist in nature, with much generated from the competing factions that have formed as a result of the rumored rivalry between the two duchesses (think Nicki vs. Cardi but make it monarchy). Compounding this are the still persistent race-fueled attacks on the now pregnant Duchess of Sussex, who has been the target of racists since news broke that she and Prince Harry were dating.
So, how does the royal family’s social media team plan to stem the abuse?
“We reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our guidelines. We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines,” their statement reads.
“We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law.”
So, basically the same thing we do here at The Root, but trolls get banished to the London Tower instead of the greys. Okay.
Apparently, this is a new crackdown for the Palace, which CNN reports has perhaps been a bit too lax in its response to online abuse in the past.
Trolls gonna troll by any means necessary, so we won’t be holding our breath to see if social media suddenly becomes a safe and sunshiny place because of a monarchal mandate. But if attention to how the most privileged among us are treated online somehow trickles down to the rest of us (doubtful), that’s some royal protocol we can get behind.