The Duke of Sussex discussed the spread of misinformation surrounding himself and his wife.
The couple first announced their intention in January 2020 and officially stepped away from their duties as senior royals in the spring of 2021. A popular phrase used to describe their decision was "Megxit," referring to Meghan's exit from her role as a royal.
“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 while a panel guest at Wired's Re:Wired Conference (via Vanity Fair).
Harry further discussed misinformation online and how it can spread. "This problem did not originate on social media, and you don’t have to be online to be affected by it," he said. "I learned from an early age that the incentives of publishing are not aligned with the incentives of truth."
He went on to reference his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident while being chased by members of the paparazzi in Paris, France, in 1997.
"I know the story all too well. I lost my mother to this self-manufactured rabidness, and I don’t want to lose the mother of my children to the same thing," he said of Meghan, with whom he shares two kids, 2-year-old son Archie and 5-month-old daughter Lilibet.
Harry also referenced a recent Bot Sentinel study that traced the way hate speech about Meghan came up online.
“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," Harry said. "But they regurgitate these lies as truth.”
Meghan, meanwhile, also spoke on Tuesday with Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, for a conversation titled "Minding the Gap" as part of The New York Times DealBook Online Summit. During the talk, she discussed why it's always been important to her that she speak out.
"Even before I had any sort of privilege in my life -- when my life and my lifestyle were very, very different -- I always stood up for what was right," she said.