Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Clive Mason/Getty Images
The British royals have had enough of the Twitter trolls, and they have decided to fight back.
Evidently fed up with abuse targeting members of the royal household, the family’s social media team this week responded with a set of “social media community guidelines” that could see the worst offenders reported to the police.
The Windsors have a number of Twitter accounts, including @royalfamily with 3.9 million followers and @kensingtonroyal with 1.7 million followers. The equivalent Instagram accounts have 4.5 million and 7.1 million followers, respectively.
Reports suggest that in the last year or so, trolls have been increasingly targeting Duchesses Kate and Meghan, prompting the royal family to act.
“We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities,” the online message said.
The message listed various rules for anyone intending to leave comments on its posts, insisting that contributors should never be “defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence.”
It also warned against “discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age,” adding that it has the right to “hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines.”
The royal household’s social media team said that in the worst cases, it would report the matter to law enforcement for investigation.
While those in charge of the royals’ social media output have no doubt already been willing to report offensive material to the police, the fact that they felt the need to state its position publicly suggests the frequency of attacks on the family via social media is on the rise.
According to Sky News, much of the recent abuse has been aimed at the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, with “a number of royal ‘fans’ abusing each other under the guise of being ‘Team Meghan’ or ‘Team Kate.’”