Henry Charles Albert David, aka “Prince Harry,” who once dressed as a Nazi for a costume party, and whose grandmother, the current Queen of England, was a goosestepper in the 1930s, unironically says that social media has given rise to a “crisis of hate.”
Henry made the assertion in a recent essay for Fast Company (wonder if he charged a fee for it?). In addition to the “crisis of hate,” there is also a “crisis of health and a crisis of truth.” Here is Henry’s prescription:
“From conversations with experts in this space, we believe we have to remodel the architecture of our online community in a way defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fearmongering; by free, rather than weaponised, speech.”
Does his insipid bureaucratic language make your head hurt? Mine too. Note the mysterious distinction made between “free” speech and “weaponised” speech. He doesn’t bother to explain what the difference is, so it’s safe to assume Henry does not support free speech. If you support free speech, you support free speech for everyone, no matter who they are, what they say, or how they say it. Good thing Henry is a meaningless “prince” and not, say, a high school tutor.
Here is more from Henry:
“For companies that purchase online ads, it is one thing to unequivocally disavow hate and racism, white nationalism and anti-Semitism, dangerous misinformation, and a well-established online culture that promotes violence and bigotry. It is another thing for them to use their leverage, including through their advertising dollars, to demand change from the very places that give a safe haven and vehicle of propagation to hate and division.
“We’re hopeful to see this approach amongst industry leaders become reality. For one, the industry group GARM—the Global Alliance for Responsible Media—has committed to evaluating standards and definitions around online hate speech.”
Henry appears willing to grant this GARM organisation the authority to unilaterally judge what is and is not “hate speech”—in other words, what people can and cannot say. Since GARM was created by humans, it follows that it harbors a range of biases and prejudices, which will inevitably inform its decision-making, favoring certain voices over others and leading to arbitrary censorship. See how that works? Henry doesn’t.