Prince Harry: ‘I warned Twitter boss ahead of Capitol riot’

Prince Harry said he warned the chief executive of Twitter ahead of the Capitol riot last January that the social media site was being used to stage political unrest in the US capital.

arry made the comments while he was taking part in an online panel on misinformation in California on Tuesday. He said he made his concerns known via email to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the day before the riot on January 6.

“Jack and I were emailing each other prior to January 6 where I warned him that his platform was allowing a coup to be staged,” Harry said at the at the RE:WIRED tech forum.

“That email was sent the day before and then it happened and I haven’t heard from him since.”

Social media sites have come under fire for not doing enough to halt the spread of misinformation and inciteful content, with the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump just one example.

Big tech in general has been accused of putting growth and profits ahead of public safety.

Harry also accused other social media sites like Facebook of misleading “billions of people” with Covid-19 and climate change misinformation.

He also targeted YouTube, saying many videos spreading Covid-19 misinformation were left up despite violating the site’s own policies.

“And worse, they came to the users via the recommendation tool within YouTube’s own algorithm versus anything that the user was actually searching for,’’ he said. “It shows really that it can be stopped but also they didn’t want to stop it because it affects their bottom line.”

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Meanwhile Harry said the term “Megxit”, a phrase used by the press to describe the decision by him and his wife Meghan Markle to quit their royal duties, was a misogynistic term.

He said the word was an example of online and media hatred.

“Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term, and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media. But it began with a troll,” Harry said. He did not elaborate further.

Harry and Meghan, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, moved to California last year to lead a more independent life.

Harry has said that part of the reason for their departure was the racist treatment of Meghan by the British tabloid media.

A study released in October by social media analytics service Bot Sentinel identified 83 accounts on Twitter that it said were responsible for 70pc of the hateful content and misinformation aimed at Meghan and Harry.

Referring to the study, Harry said that “perhaps the most disturbing part of this was the number of British journalists who were interacting with them and amplifying the lies. But they regurgitate these lies as truth”.

He called misinformation a “global humanitarian crisis”.

Speaking of his mother, Princess Diana who died in a Paris car crash while being chased by paparazzi, Harry added: “I know the story all too well. I lost my mother to this self-manufactured rabidness, and obviously I’m determined not to lose the mother to my children to the same thing.”

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