Why Meghan Markle And Kate Middleton Must Be Sheltered From Online Abuse

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Duchesses of Cambridge Kate Middleton might be living the glamorous and luxurious lifestyle of every woman’s dream. But beneath all this polished façade are just two women who have no choice but to bravely endure the previously unheard of pressures from this modern-day phenomenon called social media.

To be fair, social media is not inherently evil. After all, technology is amoral. Whether it bears good or bad results entirely depends on the one who wields it. For instance, businesses have greatly benefited from social media by enabling them to instantaneously engage with potential clients across the globe. On the bad side, anyone with ill-intent can wreak havoc via malicious posts and comments at equally lightning-fast speeds.

Even the royal family is not exempt from this reality and had to face the bad side of social media. Recent additions to the royalty like Meghan and Kate became favorite targets of online trolls that the royal family had to intervene and protect its members by issuing new social media community guidelines.

Meghan, in particular, does not need the added stress and headaches from social media, especially now that her first baby with Prince Harry is due this spring. The former “Suits” actress already had hordes of adoring fans — and probably a much smaller number of trolls — even before she was connected with royalty, thanks to her hugely successful acting career. As expected, popularity, media coverage and social media mentions soared even further when her relationship with Prince Harry became public.

But the stresses of having to constantly deal with unflattering social media posts and comments skyrocketed as well. Thankfully, she already anticipated this to a certain degree and wisely shut down her Instagram account prior to her marriage to Prince Harry. The strategy worked for a while, and she even commented that after closing her social media account, she felt freer as “flattery and criticism run through the same filter.”

Initially unknown to the public, Meghan maintained a secret Instagram account meant only for some of her closest of friends. But its secrecy did not last for long. It had to be shut down as well “to protect her mental health.”

But even without a personal social media account, Meghan can’t really totally escape determined online trolls as they continue with their abusive behavior on other accounts managed by the royal family. Even Kate was unwillingly dragged into the mess as there now seems to be two camps, “Team Meghan” versus “Team Kate,” slugging it out on social media.

As expected, some observers shunned the royal family’s announcement of the new social media guidelines. They say it’s medievalesque and akin to censorship. But to the royalty, it is simply their way to protect their own.

Prince William, Kate, Meghan, Prince Harry (L-R) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive to attend Christmas Day Church service. The royal family released new social media guidelines to protect its members from online harassment. Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

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