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‘Social Media Has Become a Sewer’

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah, Duchess of York | YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson has had enough of the bullying that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have endured — and is quite outspoken about the matter, referring to social media as a “sewer.”

Ferguson knows all too well the effects of this bullying

The Duchess of York is, unfortunately, all too familiar with tabloid attention, as she has been the subject of many articles over the years. Most notably, the media tried to drum up a feud between Ferguson and Princess Diana.

Sarah Ferguson wants the bullying to stop

In a letter she wrote for Hello! Magazine, Ferguson took aim at social media while discussing the treatment of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Often, Middlelton and Markle are on the receiving end of hateful trolls and online abuse.

In her letter, Ferguson writes: “It’s time to confront head on the fact that much of social media has become a sewer… Take a look at any website, and you’ll see extraordinarily abusive comments aimed not only at people in the public eye but also other internet users.”

She continued: “Bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most
appalling sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace — it seems that online,
anything goes.”

Ferguson’s words ring true about creating untrue rivalries

The Duchess of York touched on her relationship with the late Princess Diana, as she shared in the letter: “Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt.”

While Ferguson didn’t reference the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, royal contributor Imogen Lloyd Webber told GMA: “She absolutely is referring to the treatment of Meghan and Kate. Certainly there are parallels between the relationship that Kate and Meghan have and Diana and Fergie had.”

Additionally, Emily Nash, Hello! magazine’s royal
correspondent, told GMA: “It’s safe to say that when the Duchess of York
and the Princess of Wales were around, social media didn’t exist and this was
always being played out in the newspapers.”

Nash further touched on social media trolls, explaining:
“Nowadays we are seeing something very similar online with their fans
pitted against each other.”

Kensington Palace has stepped in to remove hateful comments

While it’s impossible to stop trolls from spreading their hate, Kensington Palace aides are involved with moderating social media posts and deleting any violent, sexist, and/or racist comment meant for Markle and Middleton..

Nash further remarked that many of the comments are “very
petty, including “a lot of body shaming and criticizing how they walk, how they
look — and a lot of this is coming from women. Meghan is a newcomer so there is
a lot more scrutiny on her.”

She added: “It feels like it has reached a tipping
point now and it can’t go on like this.”

Ferguson’s letter supports #HellotoKindness

Ferguson’s letter is the latest effort to support Hello!
magazine’s #HellotoKindness campaign, which seeks to “champion positivity
online.” Those who want to post a comment online should ask themselves these
questions first: “Is it friendly? Is it kind? Would you say it in real life?”

Ferguson noted: “Let’s all
try to think before we post. Let’s all try to treat each other a little more
gently. Before starting an argument online, take a deep breath and try to
respect someone else’s position. 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.”

In the letter, Ferguson notes: “I believe that it’s time to
take a stand. This isn’t about free speech. The truth is, it’s not acceptable
to pit women against one another all the time. It’s not acceptable to troll
other people viciously online.”

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