Prince Harry has branded the term ‘Megxit’ “misogynistic”.
The Duke of Sussex claims the word – which was coined after he and wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from royal life and moved to America and was a play on ‘Brexit’, the popular term for Great Britain leaving the European Union (EU) – was started “by a troll” before growing into widespread usage and he finds it insulting.
Speaking on the ‘RE:WIRED’ virtual summit’s ‘Internet Lie Machine’ panel, Harry said: “The term ‘Megxit’ was or is a misogynistic term that was created by a troll, amplified by world correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew onto mainstream media. But it began with a troll.”
Harry hit out at the “disturbing” way “hate speech” about his wife online has made it into the mainstream.
Discussing a recent Bot Sentinel study that traced the way hate speech about the couple travelled online, he said: “More than 70 percent of the hate speech about my wife was driven by fewer than 50 accounts, and 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.”
And Harry – who has children Archie, two, and Lili, five months, with Meghan – expressed his concern that public scrutiny could have a damaging effect on his family, having lost his mother Princess Diana in 1997 when she was in a car crash after trying to flee paparazzi in Paris.
He said: “I felt it personally over the years, and I’m now watching it happen globally affecting everyone, not just America, literally everyone around the world. I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of the truth.
“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.
“The scale of misinformation now is terrifying. No one’s safe from it, no one is protected from it. You can’t hide from it and we continue to see lives ruined families destroyed in one single household.”