Britain's royal family on Monday issued strict new social media guidelines for the official online accounts of Queen Elizabeth II and others. Social media posts on Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace feeds may be hidden, deleted and even reported to police to help create a "safe environment", an official statement on the royal family's official website declared.
"We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities," the statement noted.
"We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines. We also reserve the right to send any comments we deem appropriate to law enforcement authorities for investigation as we feel necessary or is required by law,” it added.
The new rules follow reports that palace staff have been struggling to cope with a flood of rude online messages, so-called trolling, aimed largely at Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The wives of Prince Harry and Prince William, respectively, do not have any personal social media accounts but have been the focus of rival sets of fans on the online accounts for the royal family.
Palace aides are believed to have been particularly concerned about users abusing one another as part of a growing clash between what has been dubbed as Team Kate vs Team Meghan. The official Twitter account of Prince Harry and William and their wives' Royal Foundation, @KensingtonRoyal, has 1.7 million followers, with 7.1 million on Instagram. The Royal Family has 3.8 million followers on Twitter, while Clarence House ? the office of Prince Charles ? has 812,000 followers on Twitter.
The new rules call for comments not to "contain spam, be defamatory of any person, deceive others, be obscene, offensive, threatening, abusive, hateful, inflammatory or promote sexually explicit material or violence", or "promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age".
Markle ran her own personal online accounts as well as lifestyle website thetig.com as a former Hollywood actress but shut down all her personal social media presence ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in May last year.