The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are investing in groups making the online space a better place.
The couple’s Archewell Foundation has today announced a series of philanthropic grants to five organisations that are taking the lead in digital civil rights, tech justice, innovation and more.
“Archewell Foundation believes that new innovations in technology and media should strengthen our communities, empower families, restore trust in information and ensure that all of us – especially our children and grandchildren – can experience a better and safer world online,” a messaged shared on the foundation’s website reads.
The grants will go to:
- UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry which has established an initiative to advance the work of journalists, researchers and activists at the forefront of civil rights and in particular, provide legal protections to those being silenced through online harassment or other online tactics;
- Color of Change, an online racial justice organisation working to combat online hate speech and fight for tech justice;
- Cortico – Local Voices Network, a platform which gives “underheard” voices in communities the opportunity to be heard and engaged in public dialogue and decision making;
- The Institute for Rebooting Social Media, a program at Harvard that’s addressing misinformation, online hate speech, harassment and privacy; and
- URL Media, a network that uplifts Black and Brown owned media organisations to ensure there’s diverse media representation online and to amplify diverse storytelling.
“In a relatively short period of time, the digital age has rewritten how we experience everyday life,” a message posted by the Archewell Foundation continues.
“In many ways, technology has connected us, made our lives more productive and allowed people in every part of the world to organise for change and support communities in need. Yet this age has also ushered in significant consequences. We don’t trust basic information, the safety and health of our kids are at risk, civil rights and human rights are being threatened, and marginalised communities are being targeted by a barrage of hate and vitriol.”
Improving the digital space is a cause the Duke and Duchess of Sussex care about deeply – last year, Prince Harry described the prevalence of online misinformation a “global humanitarian crisis” during The Internet Lie Machine Conference organised by US tech and culture magazine WIRED.
He not only discussed his own experiences with online hate and the relentless fabricated stories pushed into the online world about himself and Meghan which are packaged as truth but also the accounts which are allowed by the social media platforms “to create a huge amount of chaos online, and destruction, without any consequences.”
During the conference, Harry explained how we’re now living in a world of bespoke realities and that no one is safe from misinformation. But there is a solution to the problem, and it isn’t about giving up social media or the internet altogether:
“If we’re aware of our digital diet, what we consume every day, then perhaps we’d be more conscious of what we pass on, what we don’t, what we’re actually consuming and the fact that it is actually affecting the way that we think.”
(Feature Image Credit: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)