Meghan Markle Trolls Turned Hate Into Estimated $3.5M Industry on YouTube

Meghan Markle was the target of a monetized hate campaign by 25 YouTube channels that earned an estimated $3.5 million from ad revenue, according to a data analysis agency.

The three most successful YouTube accounts trolling the Duchess of Sussex have earned around $494,729 over the duration of their existence, a report by Bot Sentinel calculated.

The company, founded by Christopher Bouzy, investigates social media communities and produces reports on the activities of users.

One also made racially charged comments about Dodi al-Fayed, Princess Diana's Middle Eastern boyfriend at the time of her death, saying: "You just know they're gonna be covered in hair all over their body a bit like, you know, an ape."

The estimated incomes were based on YouTube Studio revenue inadvertently revealed by one account, Yankee Wally, in an online video, as Newsweek reported in December.

Yankee Wally's data showed she earned around £2,503.84 (more than $3,300) in a single month in November last year and had "Revenue Per Mille," or earnings per 1,000 views, of $7.

The company used that figure to estimate total earnings for the three biggest anti-Meghan channels across all their videos.

The same formula was applied to a broader group of 25 channels to produce an estimate of $3.5 million across 497.5 million views.

Bot Sentinel's report stated: "According 2taz, Murky Meg, and Yankee Wally aren't the only YouTube channels focused predominantly on disparaging Meghan Markle.

"We were able to identify at least 25 similar YouTube channels with a combined 497+ million views and an estimated $3.48 million in total YouTube earnings."

It added: "In 2019, Yankee Wally, Murky Meg, and According 2taz began creating low-quality YouTube videos targeting Harry and Meghan.

"The trio created hate-filled and mostly inaccurate videos to monetize conspiracy theories about Harry and Meghan.

"The three YouTube channels had a combined 70+ million views, and an estimated $494,729 in total YouTube earnings."

The report describes how Yankee Wally made racially charged comments in her videos, including about women of color and Middle Eastern men.

In a October 11, 2021, video, titled "The Mystery & Middle East Connections of #meghanmarkle," she said: "I didn't think Dodi al-Fayed was good looking at all in fact I thought he was rather awful looking. He had that billiard ball head.

"Nappy hair, I don't like that. And you know, you just know they're gonna be covered in hair all over their body a bit like, you know, an ape and I really, really don't like that either."

Dodi Fayed died alongside Princess Diana in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997, while their car was being followed by the paparazzi.

A July 23, 2019, video by Yankee Wally was titled, "Meghan Markle is uncultured, uncivil spoilt and rude. But she CAN see 500 yds with her rat-eyes!"

Another video titled, "there's a very dangerous organisation formed, to demolish the Monarchy. we must act fast," included a list of pro-Sussex Twitter accounts.

Yankee Wally said: "These are aggressive people you know. They are, they're WOCs that have got a chip on their shoulder bigger than you'll ever, well, you know what they're like. They just get off on hate."

WOC is an acronym that stands for "women of color."

The report stated: "In this video, Yankee Wally shared a list she believed was filled with women of color, and she wanted her subscribers/followers to target the women on the list."

Elsewhere, the three YouTube accounts shared conspiracy theories about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, including suggesting that the duchess faked her first pregnancy.

The Bot Sentinel report reads: "Based on the data and extensive evidence we collected, our research has revealed a sustained coordinated campaign to defame Harry and Meghan, and tarnish their brand.

"The campaign spans several social media platforms across multiple continents, and the key participants are predominantly Caucasian women between the ages of 38 and 65."

Yankee Wally told Newsweek in an email: "I object to ALL of those allegations. That's a gross invasion of privacy."

After a story about her earnings in December, she added: "Every year I have to fill in a tax return for USA. Failure to do so results in deduction of 40 percent.

"I always complete mine so I pay 20 percent. 41 percent of all ad revenue goes to YouTube, I'm 65 and retired, not on any government benefits.

"The income varies greatly. I've earned as little as $700 a month. Now that Bouzy has continued to use his twitter account to say I'm a 'hate' account, I'm feeling less inclined to make videos at all.

"Regarding Meghan Markle; hate is too strong an emotion to waste on someone that I just don't like."

Murky Meg told Newsweek: "It distresses me greatly that I am being included in any reference to what is deemed as a hate channel!

"I simply collect information that is already on the public domain, under the fair use and fair dealings guidelines. I then collate this into a short video for entertainment use, there are many other channels that do this also!"

According 2taz told Newsweek: "Whilst I have formed a friendship with Yankee and we do chat occasionally on Whatsapp this is private and based on a personal friendship and nothing to do with Harry and Meghan.

"Christopher Bouzy has made my life hell over the last few months and I would like to suggest he shows you actual evidence of the accusations."

Newsweek has also approached Google, owner of YouTube.

Update 1/21/22 13:30 ET: This story has been edited to include additional information about Bot Sentinel and to remove extraneous material

Meghan Markle at Remembrance Sunday
Meghan Markle attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. Hate accounts targeted her with critical YouTube videos. Karwai Tang/WireImage