Tech companies urged to act on Princess of Wales conspiracy theorists

Prince and Princess of Wales have been subject of speculation online in recent months
Prince and Princess of Wales have been subject of speculation online in recent months - UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images

Tech companies are coming under pressure to take action on conspiracy theorists using their services to spread false information about the Princess of Wales.

The Princess’s withdrawal from public life in December prompted speculation and conspiracy theories on social media about her health and whereabouts.

Imran Ahmed, founder of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, said that social media can provide a “distorted lens on the world” for some users and called on tech companies to clean up their act.


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“Social media companies need to be much more transparent, accountable and responsible in how they design the algorithms that promote disinformation, conspiracy theories, and nonsense over the facts,” he told The Telegraph.

“There are algorithms which advantage conspiracy theories, negative emotions and hate. They are part of the reason why we so frequently see conspiracy theories and why they’re becoming normalised.

“The net effect of it is that it makes finding the truth almost impossible on social media.”

Mr Ahmed’s call comes amid increased public awareness of false information spreading online about the Princess of Wales.

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said that people spreading conspiracy theories about the princess’ safety ought to feel remorse for their actions.

“I hope that those social media trolls who have peddled such ghastly, hurtful theories will now realise what they’ve done and be absolutely ashamed of themselves,” Ms Bond told Sky News this week.

The Telegraph reviewed some social media posts that were easily available via popular social media apps used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

A search on TikTok for “princess kate” results in the search term “princess kate theory” being suggested. Upon tapping it, users are presented with a wide range of conspiracy theories.

TikTok declined to comment.

Linda Yaccarino, chief executive of X, formerly Twitter, posted on the site that the Princess had delivered news of her diagnosis “with her signature grace”.

“Her request for privacy, to protect her children and allow her to move forward [without endless speculation) seems like a reasonable request to respect,” said Ms Yaccarino.

A spokesman for Meta, which owns both Facebook and WhatsApp, said the company works with 80 third-party fact checking organisations.

Posts rated as false by these organisations have their reach reduced so fewer users can see them, the spokesman added.

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