Washington: US First Lady Melania Trump spoke out against cyberbullying and also warned of the “destructive and harmful” effects of social media.
“In today’s global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children’s daily lives,” Trump said on Monday at a summit in Rockville, Maryland.
“It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly. This is why Be Best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting.”
During her speech, the first lady acknowledged that children can be more aware of the “pitfalls” of social media than adults, reports CNN.
“Let’s face it: 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,” she said.
At the same time on Monday, President Donald Trump was on Twitter, railing against John Brennan, whom he called a “hack” and “the worst CIA Director in our country’s history” as summit panellists discussed the need for adults to be “good digital role models” for children.
Despite firing off multiple tweets on Monday morning, none were about the First Lady’s “Be Best” initiatives or her speech.
The First Lady’s Communications Director Stephanie Grisham sought to downplay any disconnect between the East Wing and the West Wing, calling Melania Trump “independent”.
“She’s addressed this before. She is well aware of the criticism, but that will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. I would hope most people in this country are proud that they have a strong and independent first lady who only has the best interests of children at heart — I know I am,” Grisham told CNN.
“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,” Grisham said in a statement.
Trump’s Be Best campaign, which she launched in May, centres on three key issues for children: well-being, fighting opioid abuse and positivity on social media.