Royal family to block internet trolls on social media

Households made clear a policy banning offensive, hateful and racist language

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, on Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

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 centred around rival fans of the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Sussex, the former Meghan Markle.

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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.

Danica Kirka, The Associated Press

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