Prince Harry Announces New Role as He Joins Fight to Stop Online Misinformation

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending a 2020 Commonwealth Day Service event.
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Prince Harry is teaming up with a nonprofit for a six-month study exploring misinformation in America.

No longer a working member of the royal family, Prince Harry is taking on a new role in the fight against the "humanitarian issue" of misinformation in today's digital world.

The Duke of Sussex is teaming up with the nonprofit Aspen Institute for a six-month study exploring misinformation in America.

"As I've said, the experience of today's digital world has us inundated with an avalanche of misinformation, affecting our ability as individuals as well as societies to think clearly and truly understand the world we live in," Prince Harry, 36, said in a statement.

"It's my belief that this is a humanitarian issue, and as such, it demands a multi-stakeholder response from advocacy voices, members of the media, academic researchers, and both government and civil society leaders," Harry continued. "I'm eager to join this new Aspen commission and look forward to working on a solution-oriented approach to the information disorder crisis."

He joins 14 other commissioners — including Rupert Murdoch's daughter-in-law Kathryn — and three co-chairs — journalist Katie Couric, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and former director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs.

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle spoke about the often "bigoted" and personal attacks on them by the tabloid media — and Meghan said she wasn't allowed to deny or dispute the stories.

"Everyone in my world was given very clear directive, from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating, to always say, 'No comment,' " Markle said. "That's my friends, my mom and dad."

Splash News & Picture Agency, a major paparazzi shop, which is being sued by Markle in a privacy lawsuit over photos she claims were taken during a “private family outing” in Canada, said the lawsuit costs were one reason it defaulted on a loan now worth nearly $1 million and accordingly forced them to file for Chapter 11 in a Nevada bankruptcy court.

Shot in January 2020, the photos taken with a long lens showed Markle on Vancouver Island walking her two dogs with her baby son, Archie, in a sling. At the time, she and Harry had briefly settled in Canada after announcing plans to step back from their royal duties.

In December, a representative for Splash reportedly told the BBC it would "not take unauthorized photographs of the family of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.” 

In a statement released to Newsweek on Wednesday, Splash said: "The decision to take the business into a Chapter 11 process was driven by COVID-19 trading conditions and also by litigation risk, including an action taken against the company by the Duchess of Sussex on behalf of her son.

"If the legal action were to be successful, Splash would be liable to pay her legal bills which are sizeable," the statement continued. "Having tried unsuccessfully to reach a settlement with the Duchess, it is the view of the Directors that this places an unacceptable risk to the survival of the business, and have regrettably taken the business into Chapter 11 to protect our employees from an action which we believe is designed to destroy the business. We will continue to trade as normal and no jobs will be affected by this announcement."

The U.K. arm of Splash has already settled the case and gone into administration, while it is the U.S. branch that has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Newsweek reported.

A rep for Markle did not respond to requests seeking comment.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Prince Harry will also become chief impact officer of coaching and mental health company BetterUp Inc., according to a release.

"I intend to help create impact in people's lives," said Prince Harry, who has been open about his struggles with mental health. "Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-round better life."

Harry also revealed that he has been using the company's resources for a couple of months.

"I was matched with my coach who, quite frankly, is truly awesome and has always given me sound advice and a fresh perspective, which is so valuable," he said.