Image Source: Time
Meghan Markle is no stranger to commenting on the vitriol that can come from internet trolls. The Duchess of Sussex joined Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian for a special edition of Time magazine's 100 Talks series to discuss how the internet needs to protect the health and safety of users, the deradicalisation of a generation through social media, and the difficulties of raising mixed-race children in an increasingly polarised world.
"It made a lot of news and garnered attention when you decided to step back from your board seat at Reddit and instead asked that they give that seat to a person of colour and specifically someone who is Black. And I think that resonated with people in a huge way, especially because you said that you were doing it because you were inspired by your daughter, Olympia. Can you tell us a bit about the thinking behind that, and what it's been like since you made that choice?" asked Markle to Ohanian in a Time 100 Talks on building a better tech industry.
He answered, "I just remarked recently that given that I'm still getting hate mail about it, I know I made the right choice because sadly we're at a place in this country where there still is a lot of work to be done. And when I looked at the position that I occupy, especially one — Reddit is a multibillion dollar company — [and it] has a lot of influence on the world, especially in the United States. I thought about the role that it plays and the role that all social media companies play in our society and the world that it is shaping, including for people like my daughter, like my wife."
"I knew I had a responsibility that I had to answer her when she asks me in 10 years — when she's a snarky teenager — what I did to help be a part of making things better for her. And I'm happy to see that since that resignation in protest, then Reddit started making a lot of changes to improve the content. Banning a lot of communities that are really built around hate and started to enforce more seriously a lot of these policies. I know there's a lot of work to be done, and I hope that this is a first step for me to try and just be more deliberate in the work that I'm doing and, frankly, more effective in the work that I'm doing to create a better future for my daughter and lots of other people who look like her because, frankly, it's going to mean a better outcome for all of us. And so, I kind of have selfish motives for that, too. Companies are going to be more successful, the more diversity they have, because that means a broader range of ideas."
". . .You are leading by example," Markle responded. "And I'm sorry to hear that you are still receiving hate mail. I know that we have shared experiences of being in interracial marriages and raising small children who are of mixed race and how it plays into that."