Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton online abuse prompts royal family to release social media guidelines

The British royal family issued guidelines for its social media channels on Monday in the wake of the online abuse against Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, which has prompted concern in recent months.

The family said the guidelines have been put in place to “help create a safe environment on all social media channels,” which include the Royal Family, Clarence House and Kensington Palace. Users who post obscene or offensive content on the social media pages will be blocked or reported to police, the palace warned.

“We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities,” the royal family wrote on its website.

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“We reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our guidelines. We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines,” the statement added. “We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law.”

The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex have been subjected to sexist and racist comments over the last few months, which were later amplified by a rumored feud between them.

Palace aides have been spending hours each week moderating comments on the official Palace Instagram account and removing the offensive comments, a source previously told U.K.’s Hello! Magazine.

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“Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats,” a source told the magazine. “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."