PRINCE William has today accused Facebook and other social media giants of being “on the back foot” and putting their “profits before values”.
The 36-year-old said he is “worried” because huge technology companies have to learn more about their moral responsibility which “comes with their power”.
He was speaking at the BBC’s headquarters in central London to mark Anti-Bullying Week and called on social media firms to do more to protect their users.
William referred to the challenges which certain firms face on a daily basis including bullying, mental health issues, trolling and extremism.
But he accused the companies of becoming distracted by “shareholders, bottom lines and profits” instead of focusing of the “growing concerns” from users.
The dad-of-three also mentioned that their rise has been so rapid they are struggling to understand that their “incentives have now changed”.
William has now called on the firms to “harness innovation” to “fight back” against the cruelty which appears on social media.
He urged social media companies to act fast in order to make surfing the web a “safe place of discovery, friendship and education”.
It comes after it was revealed last month that Facebook pays just £7million tax in the UK despite making a whopping £1.2billion.
And a report from earlier this year claimed social media companies are failing to tackle cyber-bulling – with one youngster describing such sites as being “almost like a drug”.
On the evening of Sept. 26, Bailey Richardson logged in to Instagram for the last time.
“The time has come for me to delete my Instagram,” she wrote to her 20,000 followers, using her white pants as a canvas. “Thanks for all the kindnesses over the years.”
Richardson’s decision isn’t novel: 68 percent of Americans have either quit or taken a break from social media this year, according to the Pew Research Center.
But Richardson isn’t a bystander reckoning with the ills of technology: She was one of the 13 original employees working at Instagram in 2012 when Facebook bought the viral photo-sharing app for $1 billion. She and four others from that small group now say the sense of intimacy, artistry and discovery that defined early Instagram and led to its success has given way to a celebrity-driven marketplace that is engineered to sap users’ time and attention at the cost of their well-being.
“In the early days, you felt your post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,” said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”
The catalyst for Richardson’s decision to quit Instagram came when its co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, unexpectedly announced that they were leaving the company. With their exit, Richardson and other former Instagram employees worried Facebook would squash whatever independent identity the company had managed to retain.