Prince Harry Says He Warned Twitter CEO About the Possibility of a Coup the Day Before Capitol Riot
The Duke of Sussex called the rampant spread of misinformation 'terrifying.'
Prince Harry says he told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that a coup was gathering steam on his social-networking platform just one day before the Capitol riots took place on January 6, 2021, CNBC reports.
The Duke of Sussex revealed the exchange on Tuesday during a virtual panel for the RE:WIRED conference, adding that “That email was sent the day before, and then it happened, and I haven’t heard from [Dorsey] since.”
Weeks before a group of Donald Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building, demands for violence against Congress and the police proliferated on social media, fueled by misinformation that had been left unchecked.
The duke spoke out against Twitter and Facebook, which changed its corporate name to Meta last month, decrying their lack of accountability for the spread of such misinformation, which the Duke of Sussex called "terrifying."
Prince Harry also stated that he learned early on the danger of conflating profit with purpose and news with entertainment, citing the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997. “I know this story all too well," he said. "I lost my mother to this self-manufactured rabidness, and obviously I’m determined not to lose the mother of my children to the same thing.”
According to the prince, a small number of social-media accounts are behind a massive amount of misinformation; he referenced an independent report that more than 70% of the hate speech about his wife, Meghan, originated from fewer than 50 accounts — but that British journalists give the "hate and lies" a larger platform.
Similarly, the Duke of Sussex said that only a dozen Facebook accounts are spreading more than 65% of false, harmful information.
The prince said that his household won't be on social media "until things change."
The January 6 attacks resulted in five deaths, injuries to at least 138 police officers, the second impeachment of Trump and extensive physical damage to the Capitol.
On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to block a bipartisan House select committee from accessing White House records as part of its investigation of the Capitol riots.