The racist online abuse of Meghan has put royal staff on high alert

Updated 3:40 AM EST, Fri March 8, 2019
RABAT, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 25:  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports on February 25, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a three day visit to the country. (Photo by Hannah Mckay - Pool / Getty Images)
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RABAT, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 25: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equitation Sports on February 25, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a three day visit to the country. (Photo by Hannah Mckay - Pool / Getty Images)
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This satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows Iran's Natanz nuclear facility on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Iran's Natanz nuclear site suffered a problem Sunday, April 11, involving its electrical distribution grid just hours after starting up new advanced centrifuges that more quickly enrich uranium, state TV reported. It was the latest incident to strike one of Tehran's most-secured sites amid negotiations over the tattered atomic accord with world powers. (Planet Labs Inc. via AP)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of London on April 10, 2021 in London, United Kingdom.  The Death Gun Salute will be fired at 1200 marking the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Across the country and the globe saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds, 1 round at the start of each minute, for 40 minutes. Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, said "His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the Armed Forces and he will be sorely missed." (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of London on April 10, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. The Death Gun Salute will be fired at 1200 marking the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Across the country and the globe saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds, 1 round at the start of each minute, for 40 minutes. Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, said "His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the Armed Forces and he will be sorely missed." (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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 / AFP PHOTO / POOL / HANNAH MCKAY        (Photo credit should read HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. After a lifetime of public service by the side of his wife Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip finally retires on August 2, 2017,at the age of 96. The Duke of Edinburgh attended a parade of Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace, the last of 22,219 solo public engagements since she ascended to the throne in 1952. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / HANNAH MCKAY (Photo credit should read HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images)
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(CNN) —  

Britain’s royal family is beefing up its social media operation amid a rise in racist online abuse targeting the Duchess of Sussex in the months after the announcement of her pregnancy, sources have told CNN.

Kensington Palace staff are devoting more resources to deleting comments targeting Meghan, and blocking abusive Twitter and Instagram accounts. Software is being used to filter out the use of the n-word as well as emojis of guns and knives.

As part of the effort, the royal family issued a set of guidelines last week for people engaging with its social media channels.

Separately, the advocacy group Hope Not Hate analyzed a sample of more than 5,000 tweets containing the most commonly used anti-Meghan hashtags. The analysis of the tweets, posted between January and the middle of February, shows that a tight-knit group of accounts is behind much of the trolling.

Twenty accounts were responsible for about 70% of the tweets, sharing anti-Meghan hashtags, pictures and memes. The fact that such a small number of users generated such a large number of the tweets suggests that the accounts were created for the purpose of producing negative content about the duchess, Hope Not Hate said.

The Twitter bios associated with the users typically contained Meghan-related hashtags like #Megxit and #Charlatanduchess, as well as political hashtags like #Brexit and #MAGA (Make America Great Again), sometimes in combination.

Some of the accounts also shared links to far-right websites and social media pundits. Many posts used racial epithets to describe Meghan. However, there is no evidence that the accounts analyzed by Hope Not Hate are part of a far-right campaign against the Duchess.

CNN contacted Twitter and Instagram for comment. Twitter has since suspended a few of the accounts analyzed.

The small group of accounts that troll the duchess often retweet news articles that portray Meghan negatively.

Since Meghan and Prince Harry’s relationship was first revealed by the media in 2016, there have been references in articles to Meghan’s “rich and exotic DNA,” reports that her “family went from cotton slaves to royalty” and claims that the Los Angeles native was “(almost) straight outta Compton,” in a reference to the NWA song.