Thursday , February 25 2021

Psychologists evaluate rivalry among real fans



As the Brexit disaster continues, another question arises that bitterly divides the British public – a fierce, often brutal rivalry between fans of the Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex.

This week, the Kensington Palace team broke their silence on the unprecedented level of abuse vis vis the two women on social networks recently.

Sources said hello! the officials spent hours every week moderating sexist, racist, and even violent comments about royalty.

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"The Palace has always monitored comments, but it's an extremely time consuming thing. They may block certain words, but some are quite serious, "a source told the publication.

"Over the past year, with hundreds of thousands of comments, there were two or three that were violent threats.

"You can exclude and report and block people, and the police have options around specific people. It is something that you have to manage because there is no other way to control it. "

The news will not be a shock to anyone who has seen posts about Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton recently, with Twitter emerging as a pit of hatred against the two.

In fact, while many accounts of fans were created to celebrate both royal wives, others purely dedicated to destroying them also emerged.

In recent weeks, the hashtags #CharlatanDuchess, #megxit and #moonbump have been used to cause abuse and denigrate the old Suits star, with many anti-Meghan social media users claiming that the former actor is "faking" his pregnancy.

There is also no shortage of insults directed at the Duchess of Cambridge, with many criticizing her appearance and her work ethic.

But while online trolls are nothing new, the extent of abuse and the level of coupled vitriol are extraordinary – and may be symptoms of psychological phenomena.

Counseling psychotherapist Karen Phillip said that personal experiences may cause an individual to identify or react negatively to public figures such as Kate and Meghan.

"People judge very quickly and often link our experiences to those of the media, so many who felt betrayal, aggression, favoritism within the family, especially of a rival woman, will react. There seem to be many who felt it, "she said.

"We decide based on fragments of information we choose to absorb, leaving other relevant pieces of information out. So we make a judgment and express what we believe to be true.

"We feel they are part of our family. We follow their lives, loves, problems and achievements. "

Meanwhile, psychologist and clinical director of MindMovers Psychology, Jaimie Bloch, told news.com.au that the phenomenon of "BIRGing" – or warming in reflected glory – also seemed to be a factor.

"It's when people associate with someone they perceive as successful … and bring that person's success as their own accomplishment," she said.

"When you are attacked in the media, you also feel attacked and become defensive. It is as if someone is saying something about you and you have a very intense emotion to protect the person.

"It's a tribal response, fight or flight when you identify with someone who represents everything you want."

She said the attacks on the two royal members are also evidence of High Poppy Syndrome, which occurs when people try to discredit high-profile people because of their success.

And she said support for the duchesses also became linked to national pride, with those in the US most likely to support Meghan while many of Kate's fans hail the UK.

Dan Auerbach, a psychotherapist with the Associated Counselors & Psychologists Sydney, said that certain people have become "reactionary" – and more likely to catch celebrities on social networks – when an image strongly associated with stability, such as the royal family, was "threatened" by a new person or event.

"When something or someone enters that does not meet our expectations, we can start to feel very unstable," he said.

"I imagine there's something about Meghan that does not meet people's expectations – she's an American actress who's been married to bi-racial heritage, and many of those things may not fit people's narrow expectations for royalty.

"Another thing that can destabilize people is when they are already feeling disturbed by another event – for example, internal financial insecurity, politics, Brexit or racial tensions – they begin to locate their fear in a person or an event.

"They can really believe that's where the threat comes from – they think," Why am I feeling so insecure? Oh, it's Meghan – and they may think this person needs to be stopped or get rid of her.

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