The Duchess of York has said that social media has become “a sewer” and that companies “need to do much more to take a stand against online abuse.”
While she recognises that the internet has been good in many ways, enabling people to communicate all over the world and allowing her to promote her charitable causes, Sarah Ferguson, 59, admitted that a lot of the websites ‘terrify’ her.
She said that she rarely goes ‘below the line’ on social media to read the comments section, as “bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most appalling sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace.”
In an open letter, published in Hello magazine as part of their #HelloToKindness campaign, Sarah also wrote about how women are often pitted against one another and compared.
She remembers how her and her late friend Princess Diana were often portrayed as rivals, adding: “Which is something neither of us ever really felt.”
Her comments come in light of recent reports that Kensington Palace is spending hours each week monitoring their social media accounts to moderate the sexist and racist comments aimed at the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex and their fans.
The Duchess spoke about this online culture’s “detrimental impact on people’s mental health” and urged readers to think about what they are saying online before posting.
She ended her letter with: “Where we see others behaving unacceptably, let’s call it out. It’s an old motto, but a good one: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
The Duchess of York is the mother of Princess Beatrice, 30, and Princess Eugenie, 28, who married longterm boyfriend Jack Brooksbank in October 2018.
She was married to the Queen’s second oldest son, Prince Andrew, 58, from 1986 to 1996, but the pair have remained good friends since their divorce.
Sarah recently spoke candidly about her relationship with Andrew on Good Morning Britain, describing him as a “great father”.
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