On Tuesday, Britain’s Prince Harry said he “warned” Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, that an attack or an uprising of sorts could be coming. In an email exchange on January 5, Harry wrote “that his platform was allowing a coup to be staged.”
“That email was sent the day before, and then if happened and I haven’t heard from him since,” Harry said, noting the email as part of his dialogue during a virtual panel discussion for the “RE:WIRED” conference, which is hosted by WIRED magazine.
The conversation centered around how social media and other media outlets play a role in the spread of misinformation. Harry brought in his own life experience as the media’s influence through the death of his mother, Princess Diana, affected him personally.
He also noted the spread of the term “Megxit,” which has been used to describe the decision he and his wife, Meghan Markle, made to leave the U.K. and official royal duties. Harry attributed the term to an online “troll” who made it up, but he faulted social media and larger media outlets with allowing the term to spread; he considers that spread a misogynistic attack on Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
Harry even blamed platforms like YouTube and Facebook for misleading people with misinformation that was created by a small number of accounts about the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. He stated, “On Facebook itself, a dozen accounts are responsible for over 65 percent, I think it is, of total made-up and harmful COVID misinformation.”
CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were pressed by both Democratic and Republican House legislators in March regarding the spread of misinformation. Frank Pallone Jr., Democratic Congressman and chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (ECC), claimed that those three media giants had “played a role in fomenting insurrection” at the Capitol on January 6.
He accused the platforms of allowing extremists to promote their ideas as if they were given a “megaphone.” Pallone Jr. commented, “Your business model itself has become the problem and the time for self-regulation is over. It’s time we legislate and hold you accountable, and that is what we are going to do.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CT POST
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