Will Prince William visit California next year as part of his cyberbullying campaign?

Will Prince William visit California next year as part of his cyberbullying campaign?

Roya Nikkhah over at the Times had an article on Sunday about Prince William and his cyber-bullying taskforce. Nikkhah writes that William wants to visit San Francisco next year, possibly in the summer, to speak to Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook and show them and other tech chiefs the taskforce’s plan to tackle cyber-bullying.

Nikkhah writes:

    “The Duke of Cambridge is considering plans to visit America next year to urge the bosses of the world’s biggest technology companies to do more to tackle cyber-bullying. When he launched his taskforce on the prevention of cyber-bullying earlier this year, Prince William said he had in part been moved to do so after becoming father to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
    “Founding members of the taskforce include the British and European heads of digital giants such as Google, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook as well as anti-bullying charities and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the worldwide web. William has asked them to devise methods to make it easier for children and parents to get help if they experience online trolling. He has also requested a set of commitments to curb cyber-bullying and improve safety that the industry could sigh up to.
    “The proposed extension of the campaign would see the duke visit California to meet the global chiefs of several tech companies. He is expected to request meetings with Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, and Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, which has not joined the taskforce. A source said: ‘The taskforce will complete its work in May 2017 and will come up with recommendations for the tech industry. The duke wants to take those recommendations to America and go to the tech companies and say, ‘This is our blueprint in the UK. This is what you need to do’.’
    “A royal aide added: ‘The taskforce has received lots of interest from the US and the global leadership of these major companies who have expressed interest in being involved in the process… The next big push will be in the summer.’
    “Tessy Ojo chief executive of the Diana Award charity and a taskforce member, said: ‘We are looking at ambitious preventative measures that can be put in place when it comes to cyber-bullying and how the industry can support young people better.’
    “William and the Duchess of Cambridge are understood to have been moved by the story of Felix Alexander, 17, from Worcester, who took his own life in April after years of online abuse. It is thought the couple contacted his mother, Lucy, to ask what more could be done to help. Lucy Alexander recently wrote an open letter pleading for more responsible use of social media and the family is raising funds for Place2Be, a charity that offers counselling to young people, of which Kate is patron.
    “Launching the taskforce in June, William said he ‘was alarmed by the increasing reports of online bullying… As a parent myself, I was appalled.’ Research suggests 35% of 11- to 17-year-olds have experienced cyber-bullying. Brent Hoberman, a tech entrepreneur who chairs the taskforce, said: ‘The future of our children is inextricably linked with the internet.'”

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William announced the convening of The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying back on April 28, and at the time a spokesman said:

    “This is an issue that The Duke feels strongly about. He knows that social media and other technologies are creating significant positive opportunities for millions of young people. But as a parent, he knows that many people worry about how to protect their children from the new avenues for bullying that technology is creating. He hopes the taskforce can help the industry share the best practice that is emerging across the sector and put in place new standards so that the internet remains something young people and their parents can embrace with confidence.”

On May 17, William attended the inaugural meeting of the taskforce at Kensington Palace.

Then on June 14, the founding members of the taskforce were announced. The taskforce is chaired by tech entrepreneur Brent Hoberman, C.B.E., and founding members include the CEOs and executives of many technology companies, and anti-bullying charities and Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Lady Rosemary Berners-Lee. A spokesman for William said: “The Duke is pleased that so many leaders and experts in the technology and communications have agreed to join his Cyberbullying Taskforce.” And then just repeated the statement from April.

On June 16, William gave a speech at the Founders Forum 2016 about the taskforce and the issue of cyberbullying. I don’t want to quote the speech, but I do want to take a moment to laugh at this line: “From a young age, I have detested bullying in all its forms.” BAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Boy, you were a bully from a young age. Have all the seats!

On September 13, William “received Mr. Brent Hoberman”.

On September 14, William attended the second meeting of the taskforce at St. James’s Palace.

I can’t be mad at William for coming at this issue from a parent’s perspective, but – and this may be my age talking – I can’t help but roll my eyes at it. Mainly because I remember my mom telling me not to join Facebook back in 2007 because reasons. But I got a Facebook page anyway because I wanted one so I just hid it from her. Then a few years later she joined Facebook and I was really annoyed at her for it because she went all parent on me just a few years earlier over it. So whenever I see/hear/read a parent not liking technology/the Internet because they’re worried for their kids, I eyeroll thinking they’re just old and don’t get it.

But while I have never experienced online bullying myself (the bullying I experienced was in person), I’ve seen the horribly racist things that were said to Leslie Jones, and I saw what Beyonce’s fans did to poor Rachel Ray after Beyonce released her latest album. And there are many more instances of online bullying. I realize that this is a huge problem, it’s just the young person in me that cringes when the issue is brought up in a “parents trying to protect their kids” kind of way. I kind of think this issue would be better brought up by someone who has experienced online bullying (and there are many people who have who are speaking out about it) or at least framed that way, rather than as a “parents” issue, just because I think that would be more relatable to kids and young people.

I’m curious what this taskforce will accomplish and what types of measures they will take to protect kids from cyberbullying. Other than censorship, I’m not sure what steps or preventative measures will stop cyberbullying, because the problem is not the Internet or social media, the problem is people being cruel to each other. The Internet is the most human thing humanity has ever created – it is a pure manifestation of humanity. Cyberbullying exists because bullying exists because humans are cruel to each other.

PS. You know who has experienced cyberbullying recently? Meghan Markle. Seriously. She has gotten a lot of hateful comments on her Instagram account, and there have been many hateful comments made toward her on various sites. Whether she leaked the story or not, whether she is trolling fans with her Insta posts or not, whether she wanted the attention or not, she does not deserve the kind of comments she’s gotten.

90 thoughts on “Will Prince William visit California next year as part of his cyberbullying campaign?

  1. The internet is just a communication platform. Social media is just a carrier. They are benign in themselves and not the cause of cruelty to others.

    Parents are primarily responsible for the children they have chosen to bring into the world; they have assumed that the world wants more people just like them. Therefore, they are the gatekeepers of their children’s behaviour. So if kids bully others, haul in the parents and ask why they have brought up such little crap artists. And what are they now going to do about it. I would hold families responsible for their kids. Schools do a great job but they can only do so much if the basic rot is in the family home.

    Most people are followers because they want to be ‘accepted’ and ‘belong’ to whoever has decreed what is cool. Kids should be taught to evaluate what is said to them, not get sucked into surveillance platforms such as Facebook, to respect their individuality and honour their integrity towards others. At the end of the day, that’s all you have.

    I’m tired of William (and Kate) framing initiatives solely through the lens of their concerns as parents. Once again, it’s all about them and their kids. You don’t have to be a parent to understand and condemn bullying in whatever form. I hope his task force comes up with something, but will scream if the recommendations are just the same old verbal sludge meted out with his mental health kick. William’s statement about hating bullying when he was known as one is just appalling, but sadly, unsurprising. Pity someone doesn’t call him out on it eg. “Prince William, several reports say that you were well-known as a bully yourself as you were growing up. Your parents were called to your school because of your behaviour; indeed, your grandmother, the Queen, was concerned how ill-disciplined you were. How have you reflected on your early behaviour? Are you still a bully to others?” Stuff like that.

    1. Wise words from both of you, KMR and Jen. I think this is a very important initiative, but it somehow irritates me that they seem to make it so much about their children again. Why? The kids are so young they are definitely not part of any online community yet. Is this an attempt to control what is written about this family online and save them from all kind of criticism? I was bullied for many years at school and I dare to say I hate bullying in all its forms. I don’t accept personal attacks, racism, insults, body shaming etc. online or in person. But healthy criticism is something everybody has to be able to live with. You simply have to learn you can’t be all things to everybody and particularly as a public person you have to accept people have opinions and won’t accept everything you say or do. Of course, this is where people have to be responsible and not attack anyone with hateful comments. But they must still have the right to say if they don’t accept something. It definitely isn’t always easy to draw a line. Personally I have made a decision not to comment on e.g. some royals I don’t like, as I don’t want to risk going too far. I do hope this task force will achieve something, but I hope William and Kate really have other interests apart from their own family here.

    2. I think with some things parents are expecting outside forces to parent their kids for them. William’s framing of the cyberbullying issue is so pearl-clutchy in a “Think of the children!” kind of way. Like how parents got mad at Deadpool for being violent and having sex and a lot of cursing in it when it’s the parents who were idiots and took their young children to see a rated R movie. Or when parents say “How am I supposed to explain gay people to my kids?” when it’s the parents’ job as parents to figure out how to explain the world to their kids, not gay people’s job not to be gay.

      1. I’m sure there are parents who are expecting that. When my daughter started school I realized it, there were many kids who’d had litarally nothing explained to them. I must say I prefer explaining the things myself, it’s my job as a parent.

      2. I agree with you both, Grace and KMR.

        Parents seem to think that other people should also be responsible for raising their children. Not so. Some people should not be parents.

        Talking to tech giants seems to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Unless they can invent a ‘lockout’ device that detects bullying language on a site and shuts down the user, as well as identifying bullies online, I don’t see what they can really do. Same with Apple; they supply hardware and software. What people do with it is up to them. Do you ask manufacturers of pens and paper for solutions if you receive a bullying letter?

        It boils down to addressing bullying in all forms, not just focusing on one medium, cyberspace. The latter allows immediate and blanket coverage. The anonymity allows people not to take responsibility for their actions. I’d lay odds on those who bully online will also be active bullying face-to-face. It’s part of their character to be on high alert for the vulnerable and sensitive, the outsider, someone ‘different’ and get their kicks in enjoining others to attack.

        Bullying is not confined to schools, of course, or to the young. It’s rife in the workplace where people are deliberately pitted against each other to fight for positions or promotion, rather than foster cultures of collegiality.

        1. Jen: Speaking of language as a potential bullying marker, how would that work exactly?

          I’m not challenging you here, just pointing out that a person can be polite, use non-offensive words and still be a cyber-bullying. Likewise a person can use curse words as a form of self expression and not be bullying or abusive.

          Some ‘abusive’ words have perfectly safe double meanings in everyday language eg pig. Used to describe the animal (yea!) AND used to abuse a person(boo!)

          The people who use curse words as a form of expression may genuinely commun8cate that way, want to shock or do it for entertainment, and no intention of bullying at all eg have you ever watched Chris Rock’s stand up shows? Every other word is a swear word, yet the constant swearing renders each anecdote very funny. Much funnier than without the swear words. Yet, the swaering works *for him* because it’s in the delivery.

          Computers do not understand tone and delivery, so marking words as cyberbulling words would be impossible.

          1. Herazeus, I think there is a limit of responsibility from internet service providers as well as platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. I’m not sure what William hopes to achieve by handing tech giants a list of demands or what they can do. I’ll be interested to see what the task force delivers.

            I’d work out what the desired behaviour was; in this case it is to stop cyber-bullying. First, I’d reverse who had the power by placing it in the hands of the person being bullied. They would identify the online abuse, report it to a body (one click away) who would investigate etc. Whoever owns/ pays the bills from the offending device would be liable for a range of enforceable punishments.

            My second ‘what if’ techie dream would be to have the digital equivalent of a whistle being blown down the phone to an abusive caller. Again, the person being abused identifies the bullying communication(s), enter a code which would disable any further communications from the offending device (as opposed to a user name). If another device was used, same thing would occur. And again, the devices would be fully traceable and users charged.

            I am of the mind that the intent of the words is key to being identified as cyber-bullying rather than picking up on words alone. I have no idea technically how this could be done but am confident that some genius out there can do it. The above is fanciful, I know. My main objective is to hand back power to the victim and put the bully on the back foot. The psychology is key here. How it happens is moot but that would be my starting point.

            As you say, ‘Lord of the Flies’ is a perfect example of what seems to be genetically part of our makeup at this stage of human evolution. The question is: how can we overcome these natural defects by other means until we evolve into better humans?

    3. Astute comment (and great post). Parents are indeed, the gateway and the gatekeepers. It’s all about instilling a solid value system in their children and actually being familiar with their kids (unlike Willy, the worst example of a parent IMO).

      William is a bully. William wants to go somewhere warm and beachy, exotic and full of movie stars. So does his arm candy. That’s what it’s all about.

      As for hanging with tech giants- William is a budding demagogue. He really wants to control information.

  2. This is, in my eyes, William’s way of shutting down criticism. People who disagree with what he does, and how he does it, or more to the point what he does not do, are just bullies and haters. I do not see this as anything but. And him trying to use this as some holiday to California, just like they used some made-up excuses in 2011 to come here to the LA area, smacks of the usual Cambridge idiocy. What would these companies do, exactly? Nothing. It’s like saying, “Oh, let’s go after a car manufacturer for people’s reckless driving and car accidents because they can do something about it” or whatever. Not the best analogy, but I take what I can get these days, ha ha.

    Bullying these days seems to be 24/7. These children cannot get away from it, glued as they are to their devices. One of my cousins was bullied so badly she switched schools, as girls created fake social media accounts to successfuly spread rumors and ruin her. I was bullied pretty badly as a child and teenager, but nothing on this scale. I could get away from it. Social media bullying is pervasive. I doubt William cares about any of this, though.

    William getting involved in this and saying, “Here is what you need to do” per a quote from one of these articles is just them with the gall to do whatever they want to do to shut down criticism. Do what, exactly? It’s not like these groups and William have come up with anything (not like William ever would). There’s no real cyberbullying ‘movement’ here on William’s end, there’s no task force or real work going on, it’s just talk and wanting to use this to tell people for example on this site that they’re mean ol’ haters and bullies and should be shut down.

    1. The “Here’s what you need to do” statement made me pause too. No-one owes William the time of day; why should CEO’s tolerate being handed a laundry list of demands by this slacker?

      In your cousin’s case, Ellie, why did these awful girls do such dreadful things? What place do these young women think they are going to occupy in the world? Perhaps there should be repercussions eg having this behaviour recorded as a matter of public record. That way, employers can check them out. If that’s what it takes for awful people to be pulled into line with societal standards, then bring it on.

      1. As far as I know in my cousin’s case nothing was done. So much for zero tolerance. If she defended herself against the bullies she’d have been suspended, or worse; it happened to me, I got suspended for defending myself against bullies. My mom was furious, but she told me I did the right thing. (Defending myself meant not physical as I’d never have won that battle but I verbally abused the girls who ganged up on me and were trying to beat the ever living crap out of me.) The principal told me I deserved it! I ended up switching schools as well.

    2. Ellie, I agree that W’s definition of anti-bullying campaign is meant to include any media criticism of himself. As with all his new initiatives, I would be more inclinded to believe in his sincerity if he had shown interest in his 20s, rather than when he started to get criticized in his 30s for being work adverse. All W’s pet projects leave a trail of self interest.

      However, I think it’s an essential initiative, just not one that has a realistic chance of making changes if led by him. I hope his task force is top notch and knowledgeable.

      By the way, Twitter is being forced to deal with this issue more directly because Disney recently backed out of buying Twitter. One of the reasons besides problems with monetization is that Twitter doesn’t have a robust, consistent way to deal with bullying online and has a history of ignoring the issue.

      Good luck to W if he thinks he’s going get anywhere working with the tech leaders in Silicon Valley. They themselves don’t like to be bullied or lectured. And they are somewhat contemptuous of anyone outside their own realm of interest.

      1. I really hope people like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook just don’t take the meetings William wants.

        1. Oh, I think they will take the meetings and be respectful, but the mere fact that William wants to meet with him and dictate his concerns to them makes me feel a bit queasy.

          Did he not care about any of this prior to his own kids coming into the world? I mean everyone has been hearing about cyber bullying for years. You don’t need to have kids to have an opinion on this issue.

        2. The ludicrous part is that William has no cogent ideas or solutions to impart. He organises nothing, sets up nothing, thinks about nothing. I doubt he does any research- he won’t even read his own briefs.

          He has others do everything for him. He will get kudos for his concern and for his desire to ‘learn’. Plus ça change. He is a lazy leech. It really is, as you asserted, all about him. Why would anyone want to meet with him just because he is a prince?

          1. I feel the royals have a forum and brainstorm what are we all going to do this yr.
            I think CP and Sophia do cyber bullying too and I think some others are also doing mental health. Are they intentionally picking causes that you can’t show real tangible results thus they can say they’re making a difference and yet hard to see or is it really meaningful to them. William and Kate, I don’t think so much.
            It appears to me that Sophia is now getting her teeth fixed. Why now? Was it a result to the comments about them and if so she could actually talk about it in a real way. Some people have commented how she herself was a bully, so she could say she had no idea how much it hurt until she herself was on the receiving end. She would have to acknowledge that part of her past tho and I don’t think she’d be willing to do it. It would make it more meaningful and say words do hurt.

          2. “Are they intentionally picking causes that you can’t show real tangible results….

            This is what I suspected as well, but I couldn’t figure out to express it. Spot on! None of this is quantifiable, it’s just out there in the ether. It’s a like a make-work project where the lazy and indifferent can hide.

          3. I think e.g. CP Mary’s foundation has been active in anti-bullying issues for many years. They have developed anti-bullying models that are in use in many kindergartens and even school now. So at least some royals work consistently with their causes.

    3. I have been concerned about this is exact same idea when I first heard they were going to make bullying a cause. This way they can shut down any criticism they do not like and claim they are being bullied. If they decide to work only a few days a year and the news outlets report that they should be working more considering what they get in return, and all of a sudden William can scream that they are being bullied and it all needs to be shut down. The two of them exhaust me and it is so frustrating that even their “charity” work is towards making life easier for them and not anyone else. 🙁

  3. Every time the issue of bullying comes up, i think of ‘Lord of the flies’ by William Golding.

    It’s natural to bully others. Even animals do it.

    However, we condition our children not to bulky in order to grow up as kind members of society which is a triumph of nurture over nature.

    Children and grown ups who bully have been failed by their conditioning, firstly by their parents and then authority figures along the way who failed to nurture that instinct out of them.

    There is no universal tool to stop bullying except constant vigilance because it is an instinct borne out of survival of the fittest which we all possess.

    As always William is talking about this as an easy fix when it is not. He was the worst kind of bully as a child, and continues to bully people as an adult in the way he forces them to behave around him.

    Cyberbulling to him means criticism which shows how misguided he is because no one is bombarding his personal social media with the worst sorts of messages designed to upset a person enough to harm themselves.

    Social mefia is a programme. Humans are writing those hurtful words. Blocking social media doesn’t stop the determined bully.

    His campaign should be better served trying to come up with solutions that speak to human behaviour that nurtures the bullying instinct out of people.

    1. I agree. Yes, in an ideal work there would be no bullying but sadly I don’t see that happen. As long as people don’t accept/understand differences in people, it’ll continue.
      I used to think that education was the key. That the more education a person has/had they’d be more tolerant and understanding of a person. Until the US elected it’s first black president then some truly hateful things were said by some highly educated people.
      I think kids need to be taught tolerance and acceptance at an early age but how do you break that cycle if the parents were never taught that?no easy solution.
      On a side note, there used to be a great psa/ad I think it was targeted for lgbt kids but thought it fitting for all kids. About how it’ll get better out of high school. I’m not gay but I was (am) a vegetarian/democrat/environmentalist in a meat eating/red/oil and gas state. I applied to all out of state colleges and found my niche. I wasn’t bullied but more seen as the quirky girl (the joy of going to school with same people since 3rd grade) but being different can always be hard. I now teach my niece that we celebrate individualality! =)

      1. Our self-professed ‘leaders’ need to take some responsibility here too in the way they address those who have differing ideas. They need to respectfully debate ideas rather than using nasty rhetoric to tear down people. We can all be better teachers to those around us. I’m glad you found your niche, Sarah. It’s a gift to land where you ought to be.

        1. I agree. You may not agree with Obam’s politics but he’s always taken the high road. People could take note.
          Thanks for the kind words =) luckily, my mom let me march to my own beat and now I see she did too. Wisdom with age =)

        2. Yeah… But then we have this US presidential election cycle and you realize that our “leaders” are just at stupid and cruel as bullies on the playground. If our “leaders” can’t even get their sh together and be tolerant of others, what kind of example does that set for the rest of us?

      2. May I beg to differ — and weren’t we supposed to be steer clear of political things?
        I agree that we all need to be more open to each other’s ideas and viewpoints, but the problems in the USA did not start with the election of Obama. Plenty of hateful things from the opposition came about during the GW Bush years and the Bill Clinton ones.

        And, some of us don’t think that certain people take the high road. There’s plenty of nastiness going around in American politics. Both parties play dirty and don’t even have a map to the High Road.

        Sorry, I wanted to stay away from this, but I could not. We all need to be more polite, more open to the fact of differing opinions and more kind. I say that as an independent-minded person, who thinks our leaders need to get with the program, too. Thank you.

        1. Yes, I don’t want political discussions on here. However I do think it’s fair to say, as I did somewhere in this thread, that there is a lot of nastiness in politics from political leaders and from people who discuss politics. That’s why I don’t want political discussions on here.

        2. Could be but I wasn’t old enough To pay attention to those =)
          Is wasn’t necassarily about politics per se but more that I thought the US had evolved on race issues but then we have a poc elected to the highest office then all these latent issues seemed to come to head. That what I thought were more uneducated type comments were coming from people who are college educated. So my theory that more education breeds more tolerance wasn’t necassarily true. So back to the conundrum of how to break the cycle of bullying…

          1. I was old enough to remember the Bush and the early Clinton years.

            Yesterday (or was it this morning), i woke to a headline where Clinton was saying nasty things about Trump Supporters.

            It doesn’t matter what she said. What matters is that she said it. And my heart sank.

            One of the reasons Obama stood out so much in 2008 was his refusal to abuse, attack and be rude about his opponents and their supporters. The mantra, ‘when they go low, you go high’ was in practise during that election. Focus on the positives. The one exception was where he said about Sarah Pallin ‘lipstick on a pig is still a pig’.

            Clinton tried fighting him dirty and lost.

            Considering the calibre of her opponent, i’m so disappointed that when he went low, she went low too. He was doing a good job discrediting himself.

            How do you hope to reconcile the public when you publicly call half of them deplorable?

          2. I think we’ve delved a little too much into politics now. Let’s pull back please.

          3. I’ve been the victim of bullying regarding my political views as well and it’s really reinforced by the awful language and ad hominem attacks by both sides. And /both/ sides have loved eviscerating me, one more than the other. I won’t delve into politics here as KMR wouldn’t like me to but I’ve been told I cannot possibly be a woman; I am a misogynist; I am this, that, the other; I should be gang raped, etc. Not just online, some of this was directly to my face. (I worked in politics in college and originally had aspirations for office/campaign work. I hated it due to the abuse from other people so I quit that real fast. I wasn’t hard or ambitious enough.)

            Tolerance doesn’t exist these days when people can hide behind the internet as some form of anonymity. I’ve been told anything I believe should be eradicated because it is awful and I’m a terrible person, blah-blah. There is no room for disagreement in politics these days. You disagree, you are branded as a despicable human being.

            That stuff is bullying. That stuff is beyond bullying, really. Not criticism against W&K, that ain’t bullying, Duke of I-Tell-Everyone-What-To-Do-And-Think.

  4. California and San Francisco, in particular, are glorious places to visit in the summer. This trip present an opportunity to be seen with ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs, whose platforms are used vehicles for cyberbulling. I see this visit as a guise to visit California. I am a total cynic.

  5. Oh look! Willie is itching to go on another vacation. Even better, he wants to get off of bossing other people around: people who are more worthier and smarter than him by the way. WK love the fact that they can be work shy yet have people bow and scrape to them and force people to “respect” them, because they are royals. Leave the task force to people who actually work and have credibility, William. I think William needs to realize that these American entrepreneurs can’t be bullied into giving a crap on George and Charlotte having to face critical comments online or not. GC, due to their privileged position will always be protected from bullying, in fact I fear that George and Charlotte are more likely to bully others the way their father has done.

    1. +1!
      Why William has to travel to LA as a messenger for other people’s work is silly. And why would Zuckerberg et al care a jot about this guy who does nothing?

      1. Jen, I’m always surprised by how many Americans are so bamboozled and bedazzled by English royalty. There’s a lingering insecurity about how royalty are more special. Maybe it’s the posh accent.

        That said, I don’t see people like Zuckerberg being impressed with W. But stranger things have happened and he might think it kitschy fun to have W as a work buddy.

        1. It’s the fairy tale associated with royalty that gets people. Also factor in the PR juggernaut that keeps the BRF afloat, and the mannered aloofness of the royals deigning to meet people. Strip it all away and there’s nothing much there.

      2. Jen, off topic but I know you live in Australia and I just saw that maxima is there! Is she in your part of the country and if so you should scope her out for us/me and report back =)

        1. Sarah, The Dutch King and Queen are in Australia for five days, in celebration of Dirk Hartog’s landing in Western Australia 400 years; just think, we could have all been of Dutch heritage!

          Here are some articles from the press. Of course, they have arrived when the whole nation stops for a horse race (The Melbourne Cup) so coverage for anyone is sparse.

          In Perth:




          Watching Melbourne Cup via Perth racecourse:

          In Canberra:

          In Sydney:

          No pics yet of their visit to Cockatoo Island (in Sydney Harbour) yet. They have yet to visit Brisbane (capital city of Queensland) before flying out.

          1. Thanks, I didn’t know there was a Dutch connection to Australia!
            I loved the pic of max with the old lady!tear
            And of course the typical max outfit outside the synergy opera house! Good thing she had some pretty bling to take my eye away from her dress/skirt? =)
            Laura, I love that your uncle saw her and found her enchanting, I’m jealous

  6. The ‘since becoming a father’ schtick is so old. This press release is at least full of active and exciting words like taskforce! Big Push! Blueprint! That’s a Short time frame and few meetings. Why announce what he ‘might do’.

  7. While I believe that cyberbullying or bullying of any sort is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, I think that this is an excuse for William to go after sites or bloggers that dare to say anything negative about him or the missus. I see censorship on the horizon.

    1. But does he have world-wide clout? And how does that work with freedom of expression? William could get rid of the criticism by actually upping his workload substantially and being prepared etc.

      1. I so agree Jen, William and Kate both could work harder to give people less ammunition to criticize them with. Although her wardrobe, posture and lack of substance would make in near impossible for the criticism to stop completely.

        I don’t know if he had the world-wide clout to pull this off or not. I think some people will listen to him simply because he’s a “royal” and future King, not because of himself or what he’s accomplished but simply because of what he represents.

        I have no idea how this would work with out limiting freedom of expression, which scares me to no end.

        I have a question and this might sound a bit naïve but if someone is cyberbullying you or your child, why not just don’t go to those sites where the bullying is taking place? Why would one want to read negative, cruel and hurtful things about ones self? And where are the parents in all of this? Are they not paying attention to their child’s online chatter?

        1. I think there’s more to this problem than keeping one’s kids off the site, where they are being bullied. Other kids read the horrible words targeted at certain children, too. They want to be “in”, so they can up the harassing. Both online and in person.

          I’m glad to read your posts again, Lauri. You were away for a while and I hope you are well.

        2. Well, I am naive too then, Lauri. I would not ban my child from using social media but would teach them how to use it to get the most out of it, including how to deal with unwanted comments. I note Joshua Malina (actor in Scandal, The West Wing) simply tweets, “Thanks for the follow!” when baited.

          I made a conscious decision years ago to limit my digital footprint because too much personal information is given away; Facebook is a surveillance tool. Plus the manufacture of who you want to be rather takes way too much time away from being real.

    2. Lauri I fear you are right. It feels like a cover so William can find a way to curtail all the negative press he and Kate receive. I don’t see this as a way to stop bullying, but rather William finding another way to control the media since his bullying of them did not work. His ultimate goals are always for him and his family

  8. I think this part of The Sunday Times article is what annoys me the most:

    “‘The task force will complete its work in May 2017 and will come up with recommendations for the tech industry. The duke wants to take those recommendations to America and go to the tech companies and say, ‘This is our blueprint in the UK. This is what you need to do’.’
    A royal aide added: ‘The task force has received lots of interest from the US and the global leadership of these major companies who have expressed interest in being involved in the process… The next big push will be in the summer.'”
    “This is our blueprint in the UK. This is what you need to do.” — I’m sorry, why does Prince William think he can tell the United States what to do? Because this quote, from the article, is making is appear that Prince William thinks he has authority on what U.S. tech companies should do.

    Cyberbullying is always awful, no matter who the person is. However, I would like to point out, that companies like: Facebook, Twitter (most recently, thanks to Leslie Jones pursuing them. She had to.), Instagram, etc… all have policies on cyberbullying (their Terms and Agreements). They are also always going through and taking down posts that violate their policies.

    What needs to be done, what I don’t think people are really addressing (at all), is teaching children and adults how to use the Internet. Studies have shown that people tend to be more honest, say what they really feel (whether it’s good or bad), when they are on the Internet because there is an anonymity—they feel protected from being discovered.

    As far as being told that the U.S. has a great deal of interest in the task force, again, the U.S. has their own programs set up. These tech companies are actively trying to combat cyberbullying, but they can’t catch every post. Yet, Twitter really failed Leslie Jones. Until she publicly complained and questioned why Twitter hasn’t done anything, that was when they did something. Since then, Twitter is making (in the process of) some great changes to protect their users.

    Also, this task force is only a few months old. I doubt many countries even know of its existence. A lot of what Prince William does is so controlled—limited press, quotes,…access—I don’t think many people actually know what this task force is. Prince William doesn’t make the news. Plus, it looked like what KMR posted about his work (engagements) with cyberbullying, the task force, is mostly private. I don’t remember hearing about any of these—the exception is the task force launch.

    The Tumblr blog, Heavyarethecrowns, talked about how this whole cyberbullying initiative Prince William is on, is so he can gain complete control on what the press writes about him. He took up this cause so he could gain “authority” and say that every negative thing (every constructive criticism) is cyberbullying, and stop it. He wants to completely control the narrative to only say nice, sugary things about him and Kate.

    It is quite interesting how Prince William wants to stop cyberbullying, which is a noble and relevant cause, but yet he appears to be a bully to everyone who he thinks will stand in his way (aka: the press).

    I hope this article is not true. It will just turn into a photo-op for Prince William. His hatred for the press and the need to control everything is so apparent, a photo-op is all it will be. He won’t allow us to hear anything that will be discussed, we will just get quotes from People Magazine.

  9. Short on time this morning, and just briefly scanned comments, but Instagram and Facebook are already tackling cyber-bullying (at least against high-profile accounts) and did not need William’s royal encouragement to do so. I do have concerns about what Instagram is doing, I do worry about freedom of expression, and I do think William sees any criticism of him or Kate as bullying rather than holding them accountable.

    Here’s a short article in The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/07/24/instagram-gives-celebrities-power-to-block-internet-trolls/

    1. I’m hoping Instagram will expand this tool to the general public. Cyber-bullying doesn’t only happen with famous people.

  10. Bullying is human nature, otherwise kids would not fight in sandboxes. Part of the problem is parents who want their children to be the best and brightest, and tell them the only way is to be better than everyone else. Not all parents teach their children to be good citizens, some teach them to fight there way to the top and getting to the top is the only way to please mom and dad.
    I thank goodness almost everyday that when I was bullied it was in person, not online. I am a bit older, you had to look me in the face to tell me I wasn’t good enough, none of this hiding behind a keyboard…

  11. l hope he won’t take his lazy boring wife to another vacay in the USA. they are in their mid thirties and still doing fluffy appearances gosh!!

  12. I agree with what you said KMR social media are just platforms people use to be cruel to each other. People blaming Facebook or Twitter for bullying are just looking for excuses.
    Regarding William’s involvement, I think it is pretty laughable. Mark Zuckerberg is younger than William and a self-made billionaire, I honestly doubt he cares what some entitled British brat has to say. Plus, Facebook already has projects to counteract bullying and they are constantly updating their Terms of Agreement to reflect their experiences.
    William may be looking for an excuse to go to California, but no one there is going to care for him.

    1. He could save a lot of time any money by simply picking up the pbone and calling these people now instead of in six months, or he could use Skype, Viber or Whatsapp if he wants to face to face discussion. He could be more immediate and direct in this way, still release a statement to the press to report progress.

  13. The monarchy was created and still exists through a form of bullying. They expect to be treated as though they are superior. People in weaker positions cannot challenge that assumption. Will doesn’t really care about bullying. He just cares about being criticized. He has tons of security to deal with the crazy people and his kids will be protected more than the rest of us anyway.

    I also have to howl at reading: ” it is thought they contacted ” that is pretty passive language and suggests they didn’t actually contact that person.

    Really Meghan can make this her cause when she marries Harry because she certainly has personal experience of cyber bullying. (Jk Rhiannon)

    1. I have noted the irony of a “royal” tackling bullying as well… the very act of having to use titles and bows is bullying… used to be they killed you if you didn’t.

    2. Absolutely! Add to that, the contemporary version of royalty may not have you killed (hmm…) but they do expect citizens to pay to keep them in luxury so that they can keep on telling you how superior they are. Crazy.

  14. This article ruffled my feathers on so many levels.

    First, Americans in general, and me specifically, don’t like being told what we “need to do”, especially by the future King of England. We won that war in the 1700s.

    Second, this is a stupid plan. It shows that he knows nothing about social media or bullying laws. Facebook already has measures you can take to protect yourself: you can block, unfriend, and report bullying online. As Jen and Herazeus pointed out above, there is no program you can create to read an email, text, or message that can judge whether that content is of a bullying nature. Third, these companies are American and subject to America’s laws, namely the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech clause. Language that promotes racism, misogyny, religious condemnation and other forms of questinable speech are protected by the Constitution. Forgive my language, but William can go f himself. He clearly just wants vacation to California, to stand up in front of people who have actually worked for a living and changed the world with their creations, and tell them what “they need to do” so he can feel like a big man.

    Telling the platform designers what to do won’t work. We need to work on legislation that identifies the crime, permits law officers to make arrests, and permits the judicial system to punish the perpetrators. Once the laws are in place, and fairly consistent across stares, social media companies can develop new methods to fight cyber bullying. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. Hate speech isn’t a legally recognized term, and many speech censoring attempts have been shot down in the courts because of first amendment protection. The internet is, and will remain for a while, the Wild West, mostly lawless. User beware.

    1. Me too! Gotta love the 1st amendment!
      I love the non Voltaire/Voltaire quote.
      I don’t agree with a word you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
      I think there are some truly vile things on the internet but I think parents, teacher or other close peeps would help navigate and explain to a child what’s acceptable.

    2. This isn’t true. “Third, these companies are American and subject to America’s laws, namely the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech clause. Language that promotes racism, misogyny, religious condemnation and other forms of questinable speech are protected by the Constitution.”

      The First Amendment guarantees no government interference in protected speech. Unprotected speech includes harassment, incitement of violence, the proverbial yelling FIRE in a crowded theater, etc. And any First Amendment protections are especially weakened when it is directed at private citizens. Further, minors have much weaker Constitutional rights than adults, and students don’t have full protection.

      Also, hate speech not being a defined legal term has nothing to do with anything. People still know it when they see it, and if it crosses the line into unprotected speech it’s still unprotected speech. And the First Amendment read in limited ways in the Courts a lot more than you think, especially if it’s not political speech. Peter Thiel just killed Gawker in the most high profile media litigation the country has seen in years and the First Amendment didn’t save Gawker even though an appellate court will no doubt reverse the trial court.

      1. Yes, there are a few bits of unprotected speech, but they are small exceptions (important, but small). Like you said, direct threats or words that incite violence are often not protected (depends on the circumstances). Now with minors, schools are cracking down on bullying with Codes of Conduct clauses and similar ideas about behaving civilly while on school property and using school property. But the consequences for breaking those codes are more social, you get suspended or expelled. Workplaces are taking similar precautions with HR codes, and there you can lose your job. After all, freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

        But these are mostly social consequences, not legal consequences. And hate speech not being a legal term is very important. A giant company like Facebook,whose purpose is to help people communicate, will not censor itself or its users unless legally required to do so. And US courts have been very reluctant to censor or penalize speech.


        1. I’m not American so I’m not too familiar with the law. Is a company e.g. Facebook allowed to decide that they do not allow hate speech? If they defined it in their terms and conditions and someone went against it and was banned as a consequence, could the person sue that Facebook’s policy goes against freedom of speech?

          1. If someone did they would loose because that person signed Facebook’s terms of service and agreed to their terms which is a binding contract. If the government tried to interfere in Facebook’s speech rules on their own site THAT would be violating the First Amendment.

          2. Thanks for the explanation. In that case SNS could do a lot more with reducing the amount of cyber-bullying especially against minors. It is difficult though and William going with a to-do list is not the best way.

        2. Facebook will crack down on its users when it affects the bottom-line, and has been moving in the direction of greater censorship and control for years. The fact that Twitter is languishing and cannot be sold, and that interested parties have specifically stated it’s because of its reputation for hate speech and safe harbor for trolls and dangerous entitles like the far right, means that the other tech companies will crack down in order to avoid the same fate.

  15. Folks make great points about what is the line between criticism and bullying – especially when it comes to leadership.

    I also think the assumption that the “future is on-line” is a bit of an exaggeration. I know many people who have opted out of social media after participating because it holds no value to them. It has become more of an advertising vehicle versus a community of engaged citizens. The kids I know of today are using it for direct communication (texting) and not as a hang out forum in public internet spaces. The best way to avoid bullying for youth is not to let them participate in “social” media in the first place.

    It makes sense that Apple doesn’t participate — they make hardware — not websites. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al are all commercial spaces designed to promote consumerism — that is create Ad space.

    1. Kids will still participate in social media if they want to, despite what their parents say. My mother told me in 2007 I couldn’t have a Facebook page. I had one anyway. Parents banning kids from social media won’t work.

      1. Yes, but the world situation is different then it was 10 years ago– it’s not cool to be on the same social media as your parents. So if all the 30 and 40 year olds (folks with disposable income) are in these spaces, the kids aren’t coming to hang out with you. Did you go to the bar to get drinks where your parents went? Further, parents have gotten smarter with control — the devices can be set up to disallow it — just like workplaces can.

        1. My point is that if kids want to be on a social media platform, they will find a way to be on that social media platform. Parents banning them won’t work.

          1. Parents control the devices. So, I still disagree with you. There is no way for a child to get on social media unless a parent gives them access. Sure there are limited ways around that — being left unsupervised with kids whose parents do give them access. And that’s the same as letting your kids hang out with kids whose parents don’t lock the liquor cabinet.

          2. Parents banning the kids won’t work. In my country there are public libraries where all the kids get access to devices if they want to, and as it’s common in Scandinavia the kids go there on their own in the afternoon when their parents are at work. Even if they don’t go to the library, there will be friends to borrow them devices if they can’t get access using their own.

  16. I wish a major media outlet would write an article about how hypocritical William is being. He was and still is a bully. It was well known when he was a child, so it is not just a rumor. But for him to say he hates all forms of bullying, which he was/is one is so hypocritical. I just wish he would get called out for this.

    I don’t think William cares about cyberbullying. I think he cares about stopping the bad press on he and Kate. He probably views all the criticism as bullying. This is his form of censorship, but under the guise of cyberbullying so people will back him up.

    1. Despite the fact that the royals don’t give them sales like they used to, the press still caters to them. Despite the bullying they royals do to them to get their way.

    2. Unless William came out and said that he was a bully and he now understand how much bully hurts people, then I won’t believe he hate all forms of bullying. He can talk all her wants, but he clearly doesn’t understand his own past actions.

  17. By next summer, the entire tech landscape will have changed. That’s how tech works. Twitter may not even exist — it can’t get a buyer because of the horrible reputation it has for allowing such abuse. There are organizations in both the UK and the US that have been working on this issue for decades. For that matter, Google has a UK office.

    They always act like they are the first people that thought of these things as issues. He wants the credit and a photo op, that’s it.

  18. KMR – I am curious how a premiere makes money for a charity. Can you explain that in your post and provide some follow up figures – like how much money it made? I might assume the funds are raised through advertising revenue sold to businesses – but I’m not sure that’s how it works. And if I’m right, I’d be interested to know who the advertisers were – since it is they who supported the charity, while Kate brought attention to it.

    1. Depending on deal struck with cinema owner and the distributor, all net film ticket sales go to the charity.

      Concession stands may or may not be the same company as the cinema owners. Their sales aren’t usually donated.

      Marketing costs are covered by charity and distributor who may decide to absorb that cost or to take it out of their share of the ticket sales.

      1. Thanks Herazeus, how much are we talking about?
        If the average movie theater has 300 seats and the ticket is $10US — we are talking about $3000 minus expenses? This is what I’m getting at… does this whole “going to the movies for charity” really pay off for the charity? A lot more people might go to the movie later — but that doesn’t help the charity. Perhaps ticket prices are more then the usual cost? Would love if any folks have info on how that all works.

  19. I completely agree with the statement from Herazeus that for William bullying equals criticism. He doesn’t want any of that ever. He wants to do whatever he pleases, whenever and however and no one gets to call him on it.

    That being said, I do believe something needs to be done about cyberbullying. It is human nature to have bullies, but it doesn’t mean that there can’t be an outreach of some kind to teach people, especially kids about how it feels to get attacked like that.

    Ms. Markle is definitely experiencing cyberbullying right now. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m skimming through comments on the articles about them because some of them (a lot of them) are so hateful. It’s not “oh I don’t like her hair” they are going after her because of her heritage and skin color. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there filled with hate and rage when it comes to the ethnicity of people. I’ve lived with it all of my life, fortunately my parents taught me how to deal with it and rise above it. I just hope she can do the same.

    As for William and his meetings, definitely going for a trip and you can bet Chutney is going to want to tag along. Miss out on some California sunshine and maybe meet a celeb or two? She’s not missing that…lol

  20. My five year old niece, has an iPad! However that is to keep in contact with my brother. At five years old, I was still in awe of the Phillip Master Computer my dad had. I think that parents need to talk to children in an age appropriate way that facebook, etc are not games. I think the parents and the family situation condition a child to what they think is ‘normal’ behaviour. I was bullied in primary and secondary school. Unlike Kate, I didn’t go round my next school telling people. I just got on with it. Anyone who bullied me I just ignored. I think Prince William is making an effort but how much time does Prince William spend with George and Charlotte. I think one act of rudeness doesn’t equate to bullying or one act of being mean. Bullying is consistent.

  21. Of course he is visiting in Summer – much more pleasant then than in winter. I can see a trip to Napa on the agenda, and a ball game etc etc. No doubt Yosemite National Park for some hiking etc. And a token meeting or two thrown in. If possible Chutney and the kids will be along for the ride as well – lots more samey lace dresses and Kiki earrings to be acquired. If he was really serious about anything he could support the cause at home – and save the taxpayers a fortune.

    1. Exactly… I’m guessing a ‘private’ trip to Disneyland will be part of this visit… invoking Comparisons with Diana and the kids in Thorpe Park. Horror.

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