UK royals to block Internet trolls on social media sites

In this Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 file photo, Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England. (AP)
Updated 05 March 2019

UK royals to block Internet trolls on social media sites

  • The guidelines come amid concern about the online abuse aimed at the wives of Prince William and Prince Harry

LONDON: Britain’s royal family warned Monday that it will block Internet trolls posting offensive messages on its social media channels — and may report offenders to police.
Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace spelled out the policy banning offensive, hateful and racist language. The royal households say they reserve the right to determine who is violating their guidelines, and whether or not comments could be blocked.
“The aim of our social media channels is to create an environment where our community can engage safely in debate and is free to make comments, questions and suggestions,” the guidelines said. “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 guidelines come amid concern about the online abuse aimed at the wives of Prince William and Prince Harry. Much of the social media abuse has centered around rival fans of the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Sussex, the former Meghan Markle.
The guidelines insist posts shouldn’t “contain spam, be defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence” or “promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.”
The royals say guidelines were introduced to try to maintain a safe environment on their social media channels and calls for users to show “courtesy, kindness and respect.”
The Royal Family site on Twitter has some 3.87 million followers.


Coronavirus pushes reluctant Aung San Suu Kyi to Facebook

Updated 01 April 2020

Coronavirus pushes reluctant Aung San Suu Kyi to Facebook

  • "I had no willingness to join Facebook at first," Suu Kyi wrote in the first post on the account
  • The new personal page has already drawn more than 400,000 likes

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi cited the coronavirus pandemic as the impetus for reluctantly creating her first personal Facebook account in a post on Wednesday.
Since coming to power in 2016, Suu Kyi has largely communicated through formal statements and public meetings. She rarely gives press conferences or interviews.
"I had no willingness to join Facebook at first," Suu Kyi wrote in the first post on the account, which was quickly verified with a blue tick to show it as genuine.
"Under the current circumstances, it was created in order to communicate with people faster and more efficiently related to Covid-19 challenges," said Suu Kyi.
Myanmar has confirmed 15 cases of the virus and one death. The health ministry has warned of a "major outbreak" after tens of thousands of migrant workers returned from neighboring Thailand.
Suu Kyi recently appeared in a video on state media, washing her hands and instructing others to do likewise to stop coronavirus spreading.
Government spokesman Zaw Htay shared the new Facebook account on his own page on Wednesday, saying it was legitimate.
"It is real... Not an April Fool," Nyi Nyi Tun, a spokesman for the president's office, told Reuters by phone.
The Nobel laureate, 74, spent 15 years under house arrest and missed the emergence of laptops and smartphones.
Facebook is the most important means of sharing information for many in the country of over 51 million. The social media site tells advertisers it has 23 million users living there.
A public Facebook page has operated for Suu Kyi since the time of her campaign against the former junta and has over one million followers.
The new personal page has already drawn more than 400,000 likes.