Britain’s Prince Harry said he warned Twitter’s CEO ahead of the Capitol riots on January 6 that social media was being used to stage political unrest in the US capital.
Prince Harry made the comments on Tuesday while attending an online panel on misinformation in California. He said he made his concerns known via email to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the day before the riot.
“Jack and I sent an email to each other before January 6, warning him that his platform allowed a coup,” Prince Harry said on technology forum RE: WIRED. “That email was sent the day before, and then it happened, and I haven’t heard from him since.”
Social media has come under fire for not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation and inciting content, with the storm of the US capital by supporters of Donald Trump just one example. Big tech in general has been accused of putting growth and profits ahead of public safety.
Prince Harry also accused other social media sites like Facebook of misleading “billions of people” with misinformation about COVID and climate change. He also targeted YouTube, saying many videos spreading COVID misinformation were left behind despite violating the site’s own policies.
“And worse, they came to users through the recommendation tool within YouTube’s own algorithm versus everything the user was actually searching for,” he said. “It really shows that it can be stopped, but also they did not want to stop it because it affects their bottom line.”
Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, announced in early 2020 that they were leaving royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
Meghan, a former star of the American television-legal drama “Suits,” married Prince Harry, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle in May 2018.