In an article for Hello! Magazine, Fergie writes: “Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt.”
While Ferguson never mentions Kate and Meghan by name, her open letter is part of a campaign launched by the magazine in response to the onslaught of hateful messages that have been directed toward the young royals on social media.
“Take a look at any website, and you’ll see extraordinarily abusive comments aimed not only at people in the public eye but also other internet users,” Ferguson continued. “Bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most appalling sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace—it seems that online, anything goes.”
She notes that people, “Feel licensed to say things online that they would never dream of saying to someone’s face, and that encourages others to pile in.”
Ferguson said it’s now time to take a stand on the issue—and confront the fact that social media has become a “sewer.”
“It’s not acceptable to post abuse or threats on social media or news sites, and it’s not acceptable to harangue other users simply because they disagree with you,” she wrote. “It’s not acceptable to pit women against one another all the time. It’s not acceptable to troll other people viciously online.”
Fergie advised that youngsters follow a method recommended by Dr. Anthony Wallersteiner, the headmaster of England’s Stowe School.
“He suggests that youngsters should be taught how to create a positive digital footprint by using the principles of THINK before you post (T — is it true; H — is it hurtful; I — is it illegal; N — is it necessary; K — is it kind?). It’s a formula that adults, too, should bear in mind,” she wrote.