Prince Harry has gone so far as to compare social media to lead paint in a scathing op-ed published in Fast Company.
In the piece, Prince Harry revealed that he and wife Meghan Markle had personally called leaders and CMOs of global brands to dissuade them from advertising on social media platforms, as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which has already resulted in $US7 billion in withheld ad spend to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
“Some may ask why a change campaign would take aim at online advertising,” Harry said.
“Well, many of us love and enjoy social media. It’s a seemingly free resource for connecting, sharing, and organising. But it’s not actually free; the cost is high. Every time you click, they learn more about you. Our information, private data, and unknown habits are traded on for advertising space and dollars.”
Harry calls for a complete “remodel” of social media and the wider online community, which takes a stronger stance against hate speech and misinformation.
And according to the Prince, it is brands that purchase online ads that can create this change.
“This remodeling must include industry leaders from all areas drawing a line in the sand against unacceptable online practices as well as being active participants in the process of establishing new standards for our online world,” he said.
“Companies that purchase online ads must also recognise that our digital world has an impact on the physical world—on our collective health, on our democracies, on the ways we think and interact with each other, on how we process and trust information.”