"A lot of hours are being spent reviewing old material and moderating comments under posts."

By Isabel Jones
Jan 28, 2019 @ 2:45 pm

The “drama” between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton (no matter how accurate the claims) is causing more than just a PR frenzy at the palace, but a call to action among social media users, too.

A source within Kensington Palace told Hello! that when it comes to the cruelty of social media comments, things have escalated in the past year. “The Palace has always monitored comments but it’s a hugely time consuming thing. They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious. Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It’s something you have to manage because there’s no other way to control it."

"A lot of hours are being spent reviewing old material and moderating comments under posts,” another source shared. 

As expected, the most venomous comments pit the two Duchesses against each other. "It follows a Kate vs Meghan narrative and some of the worst stuff is between Kate fans and Meghan fans," the source explained. "Arguments about who looks more appropriate, for example, that turn into personal attacks on other users. It’s creating a supercharged atmosphere and everyone can join in, but what are the consequences of this?"

Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Hello! has seen a similar level of hostility in the comments the outlet receives online, prompting the launch of its #HelloToKindness campaign.

“Comments left under our posts – particularly any to do with Kate or Meghan – have become increasingly hostile – either towards the Duchesses or other users,” Hello! Editor-in-Chief Rosie Nixon has said in regard to the campaign. “So we’re asking people to think before they post and say #HelloToKindness. We want to make social media a more positive space for everyone to enjoy.”

Though things have certainly intensified since Meghan wed Prince Harry in May, the overwhelming negativity toward the former Suits star began in late 2016 when the relationship was made public. In an extremely rare move, the palace released a statement at the time calling for sensitivity toward his and Markle’s relationship.

RELATED: Prince Harry's Staff Reportedly Thinks Meghan Markle Has Changed Him for the Worse

“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments,” the statement read. “Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”

Trolls beware. The Palace is onto you.