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President Donald Trump is known for attacking everyone from the leader of North Korea to Alec Baldwin to former members of the Justice Department via Twitter. So many were scratching their heads when first lady Melania Trump announced she would be hosting a public event on combating cyberbullying.
The conversation was held at the White House on Tuesday and featured executives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, and the Internet Association. The first lady and her guests talked about technology’s impact on teens and young kids, particularly when it comes to social media.
The press was excused before the actual discussion, according to CNN, but in her opening remarks, the first lady addressed the critics of her platform.
Cyberbullying has been a major priority for the first lady; in 2016, she stressed that online harassment reflects an American culture that “has gotten too mean and too rough,” especially for children.
But while Melania may legitimately care about online abuse, many users believe she’s complicit in her husband’s cyberbullying. Many wondered how Melania can fix the internet’s cyberbullying problems when she’s unable to, or disinterested in, convincing her husband to stop participating.
.@MELANIATRUMP So, you're running an "anti-cyberbullying campaign" while the President literally insults and jeers members of law enforcement and politicians on Twitter...The President, who is your husband? #troll pic.twitter.com/ZVjwyPXBVT— ReZo stands w/ "Cheatin Obama" over Fake President (@ResistanceZone) March 20, 2018
Melania Trump - whose husband's tweets include "low class slob," "short and fat" and "perv sleazebag" - will meet with Facebook and Twitter executives next week to talk about the "need for kindness online" https://t.co/aGCyQnbqzC— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) March 13, 2018
Today, Melania Trump hosts her cyberbullying summit. R.I.P. irony.— John M (@John_M15) March 20, 2018
The first lady’s activism may be appreciated by some, but not much will change until the commander-in-chief sets an example and puts down his phone.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.