Prince William broke royal protocol to call out cyberbullies

As the future king of England, Prince William isn’t one to break royal protocol (often). But he put decorum aside in an uncharacteristically candid speech today.

In honor of anti-bullying week in the U.K., the 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge delivered an impassioned speech at the BBC about the repercussions of cyberbullying, social media and fake news.

William asked tech companies to “reject the false choice of profits over values” and challenged them to better protect children and families.

“You have powered amazing movements of social change. Surely together you can harness innovation to allow us to fight back against the intolerance and cruelty that has been brought to the surface by your platforms,” he argued.

He added, “Surely you can partner with parents to make the online world a safe place of discovery, friendship and education for their children.”

William revealed that how best to address the internet and its potential dangers eluded he and wife Kate Middleton as they settled into parenting their young children, Prince George (5), Princess Charlotte (3) and Prince Louis (6 months).

They wondered, “Should we allow them to have phones and tablets in their rooms? Who do we report bullying to?” So, they made up the rules as they went along—until William began campaigning for mental health and met many families who had endured a loss because of online bullying. It was then, in November 2017, that he opted to found a cyberbullying task force. 

He ended his charged speech by explaining, “I say this not in anger…I am very concerned though that on every challenge [children] face—fake news, extremism, polarization, hate speech, trolling, mental health, privacy and bullying—our tech leaders seem to be on the back foot.”

Your move, Silicon Valley.

See William and Kate at one of their latest charity outings below:

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Prince William and Duchess Kate attend the Tusk Conservation Awards
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Prince William and Duchess Kate attend the Tusk Conservation Awards
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Julius Obwona receives the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) during The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (3R) and attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) attend The Tusk Conservation Awards at Banqueting House on November 08, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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