You can watch The Duke share his motivation to tackle cyberbullying with Lucy and Chloe here → pic.twitter.com/FFWwQMy1Tc
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 15, 2017
Prince William took on a therapist-style role as he hosted a moving video with a mother who lost her son, and a teen who contemplated suicide over cyberbullying.
The women, who were the prince’s guests at Kensington Palace, spoke to the royal dad about their deep traumas following the consequences of online abuse.
The film reveals William’s motivation for his taskforce on cyberbullying. Mom Lucy Alexander and teen Chloe Hine both contributed to the taskforce’s investigation over the last 18 months.
After the birth of his son, Prince George, William heard about a young boy “who had killed himself following a vicious campaign of online bullying,” a Kensington Palace statement says. “As he looked into the issue further it was soon clear there were many similar stories from the UK and around the world.”
He was then inspired to set up the ambitious taskforce, which brings together tech and media companies.
Last year, Lucy Alexander shared the story about her son, Felix, who took his own life following online abuse. She started her own campaign to raise awareness of the issues in an effort to ensure no other parents would suffer the heartbreak of losing a child to online bullies. “ read Lucy’s story and asked her to be one of the parents to help the taskforce better understand the impact of cyberbullying,” the statement adds.
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In the video, which ends with William giving both women a compassionate hug, Lucy Alexander says, “I sort of feel that Felix has given me a job to do – and my job is to make sure that we try and help as many other people like him.”
Chloe Hine, who was a member of William’s Taskforce Youth Panel, attempted to take her own life at 13 years old after being attacked online. She explains in the video that it was while writing a goodbye note that she found comfort in the ability to express what she had been unable to say in person. “On social media you can’t escape it, you’re constantly with that bully. People just turned against me because they thought ‘she said this one thing this one time so let’s all hate her for that’, and it just spiraled out of control from there.”
She continues: “It’s written down, so it’s there to look back at, time and time again. And if you’re in a negative space, that’s all you can see. You look for the negativity and you look for the cruel things.”
William brought together some of the world’s most recognizable names in media and tech, such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and online media companies, as well as children’s charities and parents, to work alongside the panel of young people to find ways to tackle cyberbullying.
On Thursday, William is set to unveil the results of his taskforce, which was chaired by tech entrepreneur Brent Hoberman.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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