It has long been suspected that there is paid for bot activity going on that is being targeted at Harry and Meghan online. This is especially prevalent on Twitter (hi Kayla and other such trolls). While there is plenty of speculation as to who is launching these coordinated attacks, we will reframe from directly accusing anyone until a canny investigative journalist fully uncovers the culprit, or an insider stars talking.
Being wary of bots is important because their aim is to hijack positive conversations about The Sussex’s’, but also, to tire out the Squad.
We must be careful not to engage too much with these accounts.
What to do if you spot a potential bot/paid troll.
If you reply, reframe from immediately getting into a heated debate. Some alternatives are a) replying by saying you know they’re a bot and then blocking/muting them, or b) not responding at all, and if you want to warn others about the individual, screen shot their profile and prompt people to block the account.
How to tell if an account is fishy
Here are some things Sussex Squad peeps need to look out for when trying to decide if an account is a troll account:
- The account has been created in the last 3-6 months
- The account has several numbers in the username
- The account either has a low following, or, has around about the same number of followers as it is following – usually 100-300
- The account is following accounts with the similar characteristics as listed above
- The content that the accounts posts seems inconsistent. They only reply to posts about Harry and about Meghan negatively, and retweet other people’s posts. They rarely comment independently about anything else
- They have a black person/POC as the avatar. This has become more common since the Oprah interview as the trolls attempt to make it look like people of colour are against Meghan. We suspect that at least some of these accounts are fake. They may also put #BLM hashtags or pronouns in their bio as a red-herring, not a conscious attempt to support marginalised groups
- Seem to become more active when The Firm is pushing a PR puff piece about the Royals in Britain
We need to strike a balance between calling out the trolls/bots and not feeding the monster. Going forward, whenever you see a negative comment about Harry or Meghan, scan the individual’s profile and consider if it’s worth responding at all.
Whomever is orchastaring these Twitter hate campaigns can make all the fake accounts they want – they can’t compete with teens on Tik Tok dragging the other Royals.