Prince William has spoken candidly about his fears of children using social media unsupervised.
The Duke of Cambridge – father to five-year-old Prince George, Princess Charlotte, 3 and six-month-old Prince Louis – revealed that fatherhood inspired him to set up the Taskforce for the Prevention of Cyberbullying.
The Prince went on to say that ‘we were making the rules up as we go along’ when it came to parenting decisions about children, phones and using the internet in the home.
In his recent visit to the BBC’s The One Show the Duke gave a speech to mark Anti-Bullying Week, in it the Prince spoke about the dangers of the internet.
‘I saw that my friends were worried about the risks of the very powerful tools we were putting in our children’s hands’, said William.
‘For too many families, phones and social media have shattered the sanctity and protection of the home. As we grapple with this, we felt a distinct absence of guidance.’
The Prince went on to explain how lost parents were when it came to the new way of parenting: ‘Should we read our children’s messages? Should we allow them to have phones and tablets in their rooms? Who do we report bullying to? We were making the rules up as we went along.’
The dad-of-three called for more to be done on making the online world we all live in daily ‘safer and happier for our young people.’
While William talked about the positives of sharing on social media and reconnecting with old friends etc, he also highlighted the dangers, the fake news and, in particular among children, for bullies to ‘follow their targets even after they have left the classroom.’
Though the 36-year-old admitted that he may have been ‘too ambitious’ after underestimating the enormity of the challenge but urged technology companies to shoulder some of the burden, concluding in his speech that they should work with parents to make the online world safe.
The Taskforce supports young people and their families affected by cyberbullying, with a focus on 11 to 16-year-olds. Companies including Apple, Google, Facebook and Snapchat are working alongside a panel of young people to create a safer online world.