“We have to acknowledge that much of the early optimism and hope of social media is giving way to very real concern, and even fear about its impact on our lives.” — The Duke of Cambridge #AntiBullyingWeekpic.twitter.com/75cBTvTAgm
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) November 15, 2018
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: