Prince Harry will do anything to protect his children, but he’s aware of how difficult that will be in a world governed by the internet and its lack of regulation.
The Duke of Sussex spoke out about online safety as part of a webinar with 5Rights Foundation, organized to mark the launch of their Global Child Online Safety Toolkit.
“As parents, my wife and I are concerned about the next generation growing up in a world where they are treated as digital experiments for companies to make money and where things like hatred and harm are somehow normalized,” he said (via People). “We want our children and all children to feel empowered to speak up.”
While Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 11 months, are still too young to be affected by harmful content online, the duke is all too aware of how it could affect them in the future. “My two little ones are still at their age of innocence,” he continued. “Sometimes I feel like I can keep them away from the online harm that they could face in the future forever, but I’m learning to know better.”
The royal wants to “fix” the world wide web as it is—that is, the way it’s designed to “pull us in, keep us scrolling, get us angry or anxious—or make us numb to the world around us.”
He added, “I’m not an expert on law or technology, but I am a father—and I’m lucky enough to be a father with a platform. My kids are too young to have experienced the online world yet, and I hope they never have to experience it as it exists now. No kid should have to.”
People points out that the Sussexes quit Instagram when they quit their roles as senior royals, and have yet to resume their social media activity. This is more than understandable, given the campaign of hate waged against Meghan Markle in particular on platforms like Twitter. I wouldn’t want to be exposed to that, either.