The “sewer” of social media is pitting high-profile women against one another, Sarah, Duchess of York has warned, as she says it is reminding her of the difficult days of her so-called rivalry with Princess Diana.
The Duchess said the descent of social media into “appalling” vicious comments “terrifies” her, as she joins a campaign for online kindness inspired by the treatment of the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex.
Saying “bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most appalling sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace” online, she said: “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.”
The Duchess, writing in Hello!, has added her support to the magazine’s campaign about social media, which was inspired by extreme abuse of both Kate and Meghan on websites including Kensington Palace’s own Instagram.
Palace sources disclosed how staff are now spending hours monitoring vile messages – many of which are racist or sexist – in comment threads, with opposing groups of fans uniting behind one Duchess or the other to fight amongst themselves.