YouTube Profits from Meghan Markle Troll Accounts' Network of Hate

Meghan Markle trolls are making money for YouTube by spreading hatred of her through their videos, Newsweek can reveal.

One account, Murky Meg, has 85,400 subscribers. When viewed by Newsweek, a video with more than 62,000 views carried an advert for human rights charity Amnesty International.

The YouTube account has produced more than 300 videos criticizing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and also carries adverts for Murky Meg merchandise, including branded cups, T-shirts and bags for between £10 and £15 ($13.75 and $20.63).

Amnesty told Newsweek it advertised through YouTube using a package that applied the company's strictest controls on hateful content—but its ad was placed on Murky Meg's channel all the same.

In a statement, it said: "As is common practice, Amnesty International UK advertises on YouTube using their strictest safety settings which should automatically prevent ad placement alongside content that has been classified as hateful or sensational.

"Amnesty campaigns against online abuse and urges social media companies to step up in their efforts to tackle and remove any harmful content."

Meghan told the Teenager Therapy podcast in 2020 how the social media trolling she received in 2019 was "almost unsurvivable."

Another account, HG Tudor, has 79,600 subscribers and when viewed by Newsweek carried adverts from a law firm and a text-to-speech company.

The owner also monetizes through a blog that offers audio consultations at $150 for a one-hour session and suggests customers from across different time zones.

An example of just one of numerous videos is titled, "Harry´s Wife Part 78.10 : The Case of the Stolen Balls (Meghan Markle)."

YouTube has been contacted for comment.

By comparison, Meghan this week recorded herself reading her children's book The Bench for Brightly Storytime, which has 108,000 subscribers.

The revelations come after data analysis agency Bot Sentinel identified a network of 83 accounts the company said were part of a coordinated hate campaign against Meghan.

Founder Christopher Bouzy referred Newsweek to the HG Tudor YouTube channel and added: "It's being monetized."

He said: "I would be shocked if the core accounts were not being monetized in some way, whether they're being paid by someone to do this, whether there is some other financial motive behind this.

"I just cannot see these accounts spending so much time each day and there is not something else behind it. Is it just hate driving them?"

He added that Twitter would also be making money out of the hate accounts: "If they're tweeting 300 or 400 times in a day then that's pretty substantial.

"The tools that we're using indicate there's a potential reach of 17 million-plus users and that's pretty significant.

"Twitter is in the business of monetizing users, views and interactions. They're not in the business of shutting down accounts, that's going to hurt their bottom line.

"If Twitter comes out and admits that there is unofficial activity that can possibly reach 17 million users then what about their advertisers.

"Are people on the platform actually going to click on an ad if they're there to just constantly put out this c***.

"Advertisers are paying for views and these are not legitimate views."

Twitter has also been contacted for comment.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in NY
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seen at Melba's restaurant in Harlem for lunch on September 24, 2021 in New York City on the same day the Duchess of Sussex read her children's book at a New York school. YouTube has been making money out of anti-Meghan trolls. Robert Kamau/GC Images

Bot Sentinel analyzed 114,000 posts on Twitter, which included positive, negative and neutral messages.

The company found that 70 percent of the hostile posts emanated from the same 83 accounts, eight of which have now been suspended by Twitter.

However, the social media company disputed Bot Sentinel's contention that there is a coordinated campaign.

Bouzy told Newsweek: "It's flat out inaccurate what Twitter is saying, it's not accurate at all."

Describing the 83 Twitter accounts, he added: "There's a long list from putting out information that's just completely false to using memes, racist memes.

"The language went right to the edge because they know if you're going to say the N-word repeatedly you're going to get suspended if you say certain things you're going to draw attention to yourself.

"They constantly call her gold digger. They'll put a picture of her, they'll darken her skin a little bit and they'll put a big gold chain around her neck.

"You would see there was a picture of her with Harry where she was made to look like a Neanderthal.

"There were a bunch of photos about her not really being pregnant and different angles of her stomach.

"A lot of this content that was being pushed out was started and created by these few accounts."

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