Prince Harry joins US initiative to tackle fake news. Whilst the Duke's burgeoning employment portfolio is probably why this story is garnering headlines in th UK, the CID's mission is serious and important.
The Duke of Sussex has been named as one of 15 members of the Commission on Information Disorder set up by the Aspen Institute thinktank. Announcing the move, the prince said he was keen to tackle the “avalanche of misinformation” in the digital world and argued this had become a “humanitarian issue”.
Harry’s fellow commissioners include the former US congressman Will Hurd, one of the only Republican congressmen who criticised Donald Trump; Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin; and Kathryn Murdoch, the daughter-in-law of the media baron Rupert Murdoch.
It will be co-chaired by the US journalist and broadcaster Katie Couric; Chris Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (fired by Trump within days of his appointment for not towing the party line); and the race equality campaigner Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change.
The importance of the Commission on Information Disorder was succinclty described by co-chair Katie Couric: “In today’s media landscape, consumers face a constant barrage of content that reinforces their established viewpoints. Powered by algorithms and shared ideologies, people often get affirmation instead of information, where facts are manipulated if not completely ignored."
“This ‘truth decay’ is a tremendous threat, not only to a well-informed electorate, but to democracy itself. With commentary increasingly replacing reporting, polarisation has deepened and trust in media has declined.”
It's not yet clear how this new Commission is going to operate or create impact, but any reasonable person must, surely, applaud the intent. In a week when a pro-Trump lawyer, who spread election lies on his behalf, is trying to avoid a court case for defamation by saying that 'no reasonable person' would have believed her lies, the importance of re-establishing a truth based democracy in America is paramount.
Prince Harry's appointment comes swifttly after it was announced that he will become the chief impact officer for a Silicon Valley startup offering professional coaching and mental health advice.