Meghan and Prince Harry: Great irony in royal duo’s quest to save online world

If social media users are like “drug addicts”, what does that mean for Meghan and Harry’s new Archewell website?

The Duchess of Sussex might have backed herself into a corner, when she compared social media users to “people who are addicted to drugs”, during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Virtual Summit.

She said she has “not been on social media for a very long time”.

Pesumably she’s going to have to remember her password pronto, with her new initiative.

The pair have been vocal about their campaign to make the internet “healthier and better,” telling Time magazine this week that they have been working with experts to make the online space safer.

“This is a global crisis of hate, a global crisis of misinformation and a global health crisis,” says Prince Harry.

“This isn’t just a tech problem. This isn’t solely a mental health or emotional wellbeing problem. This is a human problem and what’s happening to all of us online is affecting us deeply offline,” Meghan says on the Time 100 Talks video.

I wholeheartedly agree, but I wonder what that means for, which went live on Wednesday.

The pair have been speaking out about the need for “humane tech”, which will be a core part of their foundation.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have been open about their need for “humane tech”.
media_cameraPrince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have been open about their need for “humane tech”.

The holding page shows the dictionary definition of the name, “Arche: Greek word meaning ‘source of action’ and “Well: a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep”, as well as a subscription form. The site’s tagline reads: Building Compassionate Communities.


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Meghan, of course, was one of the early embracers of social media — she ran her highly-successful website The Tig for years, along similar lines to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, only closing it down when she met Prince Harry.

And the couple’s Sussex Royal Instagram page quickly garnered 10.6 million followers before they had to abandon it and the term “royal”.

Since the start of the year, they have been gathering together experts, from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who resigned to make way for a black board member in response to BLM; social media activist and ex-Google employee Tristan Harris and Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression.

Meghan says they “hadn’t connected” until now, so it looks like they are going to curate all the thinking into one umbrella initiative.

“Now more than ever, there is this overwhelming desire … for truth,” says Harry, as the couple explain how difficult it can be to separate real and fake news.

That includes their own branding — I counted at least 55 fake Archewell Instagram pages online, many with thousands of followers.

The need for truth is indeed paramount — as long as it is the whole truth, including the parts you might not want to hear, or that don’t fit in with your narrative, one would gently remind the couple currently suing several British newspapers.

If Harry and Meghan indeed manage that, then they’ll be less “Dook and Duchess” as Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal introduces them in his interview (I swear you
can see Harry cringe), and instead, King and Queen of the online world.

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