Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are getting behind families advocating for online safety for children.
The couple has shared a statement through their Archewell Foundation following a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic earlier this week. Dozens of parents gathered for the hearing on Wednesday, many of whom had lost their children due to harmful online content and the impacts of social media.
“We applaud the bravery and determination of the thousands of parents around the country whose advocacy resulted in this hearing.” their message said.
“Over the past few years, we have spent time with many of these families, listening to their heartache and their hopes for the urgent change that is needed in the online space. This is an issue that transcends division and party lines, as we saw today at the Senate hearing. The best parenting in the world cannot keep children safe from these platforms. As one of the fathers shared with us: ‘If love could have saved them, all of our children would still be here.'”
They added, “This is not the time to pass the buck of responsibility. It’s the time to make necessary change at the source to keep our children safe.”
In October last year, Meghan and Harry helped amplify the voices of grieving parents during a summit on “Mental Wellness During the Digital Age.” They hosted the event in New York to mark World Mental Health Day, inviting parents Ryan Gill, Taj Jensen and Chris Dawley who each shared personal stories of how social media impacted their children’s lives and how they want to create meaningful change so other families don’t have to experience the same loss.
The group discussed the lack of online regulations and protections for children, how social media giants are keeping kids addicted to their platforms, ultimately impacting their mental health and how algorithms are exposing children to harmful content.
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The CEOs of some of the world’s biggest platforms including Meta, Snapchat and TikTok were also present at the meeting this week. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a moment to publicly apologise to the families present:
“I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through” he said. “It’s terrible. No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered.”
Continuing to face the crowd, he added, “This is why we have invested so much and we are going continue doing industry-wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”
(Feature Image Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com)