Over the weekend, Dutch Prince Constantijn questioned social media discourse in a tweet. Prince Constantijn, who is a younger brother to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, commented on a retweet about civil disagreements on social media.
Constantijn retweeted Peter Burger’s tweet which shared an interview with political scientist Rebekah Tromble, who discussed “intolerance and rudeness on Twitter.”
The Prince responded on the retweet, “Why do people think it’s OK to say on social media this kind of thing and dare not do it under their own name? Does this hold up once? Why is it so difficult to disagree on Twitter in a respectful way?”
The King’s brother seems to be asking the same question many have been asking about Twitter and other social media accounts over the past few months. And Constantijn is not the only royal who seems to be wondering about the topic. His sister-in-law, Princess Mabel retweeted his comment on her own Twitter account. Mabel was married to Prince Friso, Constantijn and Willem-Alexander’s late brother who died in 2013 after complications from a tragic skiing accident in Lech, Austria, in 2012.
Both Prince Constantijn and Princess Mabel are highly active on Twitter. Constantijn shares his work with startups, while Mabel promotes her charitable endeavours with organisations like Girls Not Brides.
Dutch political scientist Rebekah Tromble, based in Leiden, was asked to investigate intolerance and rudeness on social media. She has not been immune to the type of comments she was tasked with investigating. At one point, she also tweeted about what it is like to receive such remarks, “I was addressed 24,000 times on Twitter in just 36 hours. All that anger and negativity, through all channels simultaneously … that is overwhelming.”
Tromble has been the target of social media attacks due to her anti-Trump viewpoints.