Kensington Palace's Instagram account and other users on the photo-sharing app lost thousands of followers earlier this week, however, at least 150k followers has been recovered following a glitch. It was believed that the social media giant had been taking a number of steps to limit fake accounts, including the removal of accounts linked to apps offering followers or likes. An Instagram spokesperson told HELLO! on Wednesday morning: "We're aware of an issue causing a change in account follower numbers for some people right now. We're working quickly to fix this."
Kensington Palace has lost over 150k Instagram followers overnight
Twitter have also said that their follower accounts might change on a regular basis as "part of [its] ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts." A Twitter spokesperson told us: "We began removing locked accounts from Twitter followers last year July." The news of the cull comes two weeks after we launched #HelloToKindness campaign in response to some of the negative and mean comments seen on our social media feeds. With Sarah, Duchess of York, and stars from David and Victoria Beckham, to Storm and Ronan Keating and Liam Payne offering their support, our social media hashtag has been gaining momentum globally. These comments were aimed at the celebrities we were posting about or other social media users. We felt it was time, and for our readers too, to take a stand. We found that the majority of negative comments we received were aimed at the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, and that these two royal women were often pitted against each other.
MORE: #HelloToKindness has moved to Parliament
Kensington Palace spend hours each week moderating comments on their social media posts, as some users make violent threats towards the royals and target 'rival' fans. A source told HELLO!, "The Palace has always monitored comments but it’s a hugely time consuming thing. They can block certain words, but some of it is quite serious. Over the course of last year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats. You can delete and report and block people and the police have options around particular people. It's something you have to manage because there's no other way to control it."
Neither Kate nor Meghan have individual public social media accounts, with Meghan famously closing her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts a year ago ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry. Royal aides stress that the majority of comments left by some of Kensington Palace's Instagram followers and Twitter followers are positive. But a source told HELLO!: "A lot of hours are being spent reviewing old material and moderating comments under posts. The problem has become such an issue in recent months that the palace have turned to Instagram in a bid to learn all the tools they can to help them tackle the abusive comments. The social networking company has a team dedicated to helping high profile Instagram followers cope with issues such as these, and particularly around the monitoring of unpleasant and abusive comments."
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.