Melania Trump on cyberbullying: ‘Children’ know more about social media than ‘most adults’
First lady Melania Trump in a speech on cyberbullying on Monday said “children are more aware of benefits and pitfalls of social media than most adults.”
“Let’s face it,” she said. “Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.”
Trump’s remarks at the Rockville, Md., summit focused largely on the importance of “positive” and “responsible” online behavior.
“[Social media] can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly,” Trump said.
The first lady has raised eyebrows with her “Be Best” campaign that encourages good online behavior, considering her husband’s tendency to bully and insult others on Twitter.
President Trump reportedly discouraged the first lady from focusing on social media in her anti-bullying initiative, according to The New York Times.
The president told her that she would likely receive backlash over the topic, given his incendiary Twitter habits, the Times reported.
Melania Trump was introduced at the summit by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who referred to her as a “leader for America’s children.”
Trump discussed her recent meeting with students participating in Microsoft’s online civility task force.
“I was impressed by their deep understanding of how important it is to be safe, and was inspired by their sincere commitment to reducing peer-to-peer bullying through kindness and open communication,” Trump said.
Trump’s husband spent the weekend slamming special counsel Robert Mueller, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Twitter.
Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, on Monday said the first lady is “aware” that critics of the Be Best campaign point to her husband’s online behavior.
“The First Lady’s presence at events such as today’s cyberbullying summit elevates an issue that is important to children and families across this country,” Grisham said. “She is aware of the criticism but it will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. The President is proud of her commitment to children and encourages her in all that she does.”
Updated at 11:10 a.m.