Cyberbullying Hitting Close to Home? 🏡

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Rose Garden: flowers or thorns?

On May 7th in the White House Rose Garden, the First Lady shared her “Be Best” campaign. It aims to help children increase their ‘well-being’, but also looks to fight opioid addiction and cyberbullying. Some think that Melania Trump is dreaming big and tackling important issues, while others think this looks like a random list that will eventually stretch her too thin.

There are two controversies flying around:

  1. The irony that Melania Trump is fighting cyberbullying when her husband may be a part of the problem. Numerous media sites have directly called Trump’s tweets ‘cyberbullying’ and say his tweets include name-calling, threats, and demeaning commentary. Here’s a complete list of 459 people, places, and things he has ‘insulted’ on Twitter.
  2. The rumor that Melania Trump potentially plagiarized her ‘Be Best’ pamphlet from Michelle Obama’s 'Chatting with Kids About Being Online’ material. The two covers, text, and images are nearly identical. The media is comparing it to when Melania was accused of plagiarizing a paragraph from a Michelle Obama speech. 

Leaning Right:

Fox News: Melania Trump shows why America is falling in love with her

Washington Times: First lady’s office slams ‘opposition media’ for reports of cribbing from Obama admin booklet

The right believes Melania is not responsible for Trump's actions and that she shouldn’t be criticized for fighting cyberbullying when it can positively influence the target children and potentially even Trump. They say that she may be able to heal past damage and that she can be the positive role model from the WH on this issue. The right also notes that the media is focused on “plagiarism” when the real focus here should be on the positive efforts being made for children.

 

Leaning Left:

The Root: Not Only Did Melania Trump’s Team Bite the Obama Playbook, but They Also Got Mad When the Media Pointed It Out

Quartz: Melania Trump wants to help kids by protecting them from bullies like her husband 

The left says that it is ironic and hypocritical of Melania to fight cyberbullying when she is married to Trump, who is known for “lobbing insults on social media”. They say that nothing she can do will counteract her husbands hundreds of Twitter posts attacking both foreign dignitaries and children, and that if she ‘can’t even control it in her own home’, how can she possibly make a difference on a nationwide scale? The left also focuses on the fact that this is Melania’s second strike with plagiarism.


Passive-aggressive Melania?

Melania has acknowledged that Trump is part of the cyberbullying problem. Despite the White House urging her against this campaign, she refused to give it up. So why is she so adamant about pursuing this when she knows it will be seen as ‘hypocritical’? It’s possible that the campaign is also directed at Donald Trump in a passive-aggressive plea to stop his cyberbullying. Numerous victims of Trump and Trump Jr’s tweets have written Melania asking her to end the harassment. She may be trying to get through to Trump that she is very serious about this topic and he should be too

When you see a cyberbully

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