Prince Charming does exist, and he’s on a quest to smite the internet from under-the-bridge trolls that lurk in comment sections everywhere—but mainly on posts having to do with his significant other, Suits actress Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry of England has come out in early November with a statement from Kensington Palace lambasting the media and internet trolls for targeting Markle for harassment and abuse. Worried that public scrutiny will scare her away like his previous girlfriend Cressida Bonas, Harry is committed to combating anonymous trolls and online troublemakers who attack his girlfriend. The statement was the first public confirmation from the palace that the duo were official.
Harry’s condemnation is first on tabloid media, and by extension their readership. For example, British tabloid the Sun featured a front page story headlined “Harry’s girlfriend on Pornhub,” suggesting a sex tape or other illicit act existed, when in fact someone had uploaded sex scenes from her work on Suits to the website. There has also been ongoing speculation on her divorce with Trevor Engelson back in 2013.
What’s worse, these pieces have given trolls a home to sling their slanderous and rude comments. An editorial over at the Guardian—which is no stranger to commenter hostility—collects a few hateful comments aimed at Markle, who is biracial.
This negative attention unfortunately comes with the territory of being a woman in the spotlight—which makes it no less abhorrent—but the Prince worries that it may be compounded due to his closeness to the throne, he being fifth in line. Telegraph reported from an anonymous source that the Prince worries deeply about the attention cast on Meghan Markle. The situation as a whole isn’t so different from the one that forced Justin Bieber to leave Instagram in response to trolling against his girlfriend, and it appears even royalty isn’t immune to such behavior.
Harry is right to tackle internet trolls: while his statement is in defense of his girlfriend, to a wider extent it’s a condemnation of online bullying. In fact, a disconcerting 25% of teens experience repeated bullying online, and 52% have been cyber bullied at some point, according to No Bullying.
But if you find yourself facing abuse on social media, don’t despair: you can give yourself the royal treatment with Smart Moderation. Most social media platforms offer their own comment moderation tools to protect users from abuse, but they’re not perfect: trolls and spam bots can bypass keyword blacklist filters by intentionally misspelling or spacing out banned words. These systems also don’t work in real time, so you may still see some troubling comments.
How is Smart Moderation different? For one, it’s a machine learning comment moderation tool; any tricks by trolls and spammers to mask a ban word or phrase won’t work any better on Smart Moderation than it would a human. Second, it wipes your profiles clean from abuse within the minute that it’s posted—and you won’t have to deal with the posts at all. If you find yourself swatting and blocking trolls like gnats often, try Smart Moderation for free to see the difference it makes in your experience online.