Harry and Meghan release video of Duchess telling families of children who have been victims of cyber bullying that ‘we all just want to feel safe’ as couple front campaign calling for ‘urgent change in the online space’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released a new video of themselves urging social media companies to reduce the amount of harmful content children can see online.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex last night released the clip of their appearance at a World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year.

They released the video on their Archewell website following a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on online child safety which took place in Washington yesterday and saw politicians warn social media giants: ‘You’ve got blood on your hands’ .

In the video, Meghan says: ‘When the car was first invented, there was no seat belt. And what happened? People started getting hurt, people started dying. So you started to change the car.’

Harry adds: ‘We need to get out of this idea that young children, there’s something wrong with them. No, it is the world we allow to be created around them. Please stop sending children content you don’t want your own children to see.’

Harry and Meghan at a World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

Harry and Meghan at a World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

The Sussexes released the video after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington yesterday in which US politicians warned social media giants: 'You have blood on your hands'

The Sussexes released the video after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington yesterday in which US politicians warned social media giants: ‘You have blood on your hands’

And Meghan then said: ‘Everyone is now affected by the online world and social media. There is an entry point which is positive and creative community, but we all just want to feel safe.’

The couple said the hearing on online child safety took place ‘in front of a packed room, including dozens of parents whose children have suffered or died from online harm’.

They added that their Archewell Foundation ‘worked with many of these families to provide a support network for parents dealing with grief or who have children managing serious mental health conditions as a result of their exposure to harmful online content’.

In a joint statement accompanying the video on their website, the Sussexes said: ‘We applaud the bravery and determination of the thousands of parents across the country whose advocacy has led to this trial.

“We have spent time with many of these families over the past few years, listening to their grief and their hope for the urgent change needed in the online space.

“This is an issue that crosses divisiveness and party lines, as we saw today during the Senate hearing. The best parenting in the world cannot keep children safe from these platforms.

‘As one of the fathers shared with us: ‘If love could save them, all our children would still be here.’

‘This is not the time to hand over the money of responsibility. It is time to make the necessary change at the source to keep our children safe.’

Harry and Meghan at a World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

Harry and Meghan at a World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

Meghan speaking at the World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

Meghan speaking at the World Mental Health Day event in New York on October 10 last year

The video dates back to October 10, when the Sussexes urged social media companies to reduce the amount of harmful content children can see online to protect their mental health.

Harry and Meghan made the comments at a mental health awareness festival run by non-profit Project Healthy Minds in New York.

The royal couple, who spoke about their own mental health issues, took part in a panel discussion with US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, moderated by NBC host Carson Daly, who has previously spoken of his struggles with anxiety.

The event, on World Mental Health Day, was coordinated by the Duke and Duchess’ Archewell Foundation.

The couple called on social media firms to adopt better content moderation policies and adapt apps that could be addictive to young people.

They spoke out after hearing about parents who have lost children to mental health issues linked to social media use.

The Duke urged tech bosses to ‘stop sending content to children that you wouldn’t want your own children to see’.

The Duchess said she and her husband were focusing on what they could do behind the scenes to make social media use ‘safer, better and more positive’ and that the couple had spoken to tech executives about the issue.

She added: ‘People get hurt – and people, especially children, die.

“A year ago we met some of the families, not all of them. At that time it was impossible not to be in tears, as I’m sure so many of you have heard these stories today.

‘As parents, our children are very young – they are two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half – but social media is not going away.

“I think by design there’s an entry point that’s supposed to be positive, in creating community and something has spiraled, and there’s no way to hear that and not try to help these families tell their stories. don’t let it be heard.’

In the United Kingdom on the same day, the Princess of Wales gave a speech to young people gathered in Birmingham for a day of workshops and discussions to mark World Mental Health Day, with her husband Prince William in the audience.

It comes as US politicians warned social media giants last night that they ‘have blood on your hands’ – with the bosses of Meta, TikTok and others grilling about the dangers children face on their platforms.

When they testified before senators and the families of children who died after being bullied or abused online, they were told: ‘You have a product that kills people.’

The US government is trying to push through online safety laws over concerns that the websites are rife with child exploitation.

Reports have consistently highlighted the risks to young users, such as algorithms connecting teenagers with pedophiles.

Among those who testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday were the CEOs of X, Snapchat and TikTok’s Shou Zi Chew.

But the heaviest fire has been focused on Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, who runs Facebook and Instagram.

Meta is currently facing a major lawsuit filed by 40 US states that jointly accuse it of allegedly failing to protect its youngest users.

Prosecutors say new unsealed internal documents show the firm knew its algorithms were putting children at risk, despite publicly claiming they were safe.

Senator Richard Blumenthal emphasized yesterday how Mr. In 2021, Zuckerberg rejected pleas from former UK deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg, then head of global affairs, to employ around 80 staff to tackle harmful content due to concerns about a ‘lack of investment’.

Senator Blumenthal said estimates showed the move would cost an estimated £40m – at a time when Meta was making £7bn in just one quarter.

He said: ‘This is an example, from your own internal documents, of failure to act.

‘This is why we can no longer trust Meta – and frankly any of the other social media – to grade their own homework.’

Senator Lindsey Graham was applauded in the hearing room when he said: ‘Mr Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t mean it, but you have blood on your hands. You have a product that kills people.’

At one point, Mr Zuckerberg stood up and turned to the rows of families of victims attending the hearing to apologize for what happened to their loved ones.

In the UK, social media firms will have to remove illegal content and protect children from harmful material under the Online Safety Act.

If they fail to comply, Ofcom will be able to hand out huge fines – and eventually jail bosses if they still fail to clean up their act.

The death of 14-year-old Molly Russell – who took her own life after being bombarded with self-harm and suicidal content online – played a major role in pushing the legislation through parliament.

Last night her father, Ian Russell, said: ‘Today Mark Zuckerberg showed complete denial about Meta’s role in damaging the health and well-being of a generation of teenagers.

“Like Big Tobacco decades before, Big Tech is actively dodging the industrial-level harm it is doing to young people.”