Be Best

Be Best

Part of a series on Melania Trump. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 03, 2018 at 02:34AM EDT by Y F.

Added May 08, 2018 at 05:12PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

Be Best is a child-welfare campaign launched by First Lady of the United States Melania Trump. The program focuses on well-being, fighting opioid abuse and positivity on social media.

Background

On May 7th, 2018, at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Trump launched Be Best. The program focuses on childhood wellness, particularly in regards to social media, drug use and well being.[1]

She said, "As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today's fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide."

"I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life."



Developments

Online Reaction

The reception of "Be Best" was marked by issues with the website and people describing the irony between Melania's anti-cyberbullying campaign and her marriage to President Donald Trump. Daily Mail writer David Martosko tweeted, [7] "As Melania Trump speaks about her 'Be best' campaign, the White House's web page for the initiative is a 'page not found.'" The post (shown below, left) received more than 380 retweets and 970 likes in 24 hours.

New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait tweeted,[8] "People constantly suggest Melania Trump's campaign against social media bullying is some kind of delusional exercise un-self-awareness. I think she is perfectly aware." The post (shown below, right) received more than 50 retweets and 260 likes in 24 hours.

Others mocked the phrasing "Be Best." Television producer Andy Lassner tweeted,[9] "I told my sons to 'be best' today. They said that doesn’t make sense. Kids." The post (shown below, right) received more than 2,500 retweets and 16,000 likes in 24 hours.


As Melania Trump speaks about her "Be best" campaign, the White House's web page for the initiative is a "page not found" BE BEST BE BEST The mission of BE BEST is to focus on some of the major issues facing children today, with the goal of encouraging children to BE BEST in their i.. whitehouse.gov People constantly suggest Melania Trump's campaign against social media bullying is some kind of delusional exercise un-self- awareness. I think she is perfectly aware. I told my sons to "be best" today. They said that doesn't make sense. Kids

That day, Twitter[10] Twitter user shared a video of Melania's speech with footage of President Trump mocking a disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski in 2016 superimposed over the video. They captioned the post, "'Be Best.' Maybe look over your shoulder, Melania." The post (shown below) received more than 5,100 retweets and 11,000 likes in 24 hours.



Allegations of Plagiarism

Following the announcement, Twitter[2] user @rudepunditt tweeted that the Be Best pamphlet for parents on talking to your kids about being safe on the internet plagiarized an Obama-administration pamphlet on the same subject. They wrote, "Fun fact: The White House trumpets “Talking with Kids about Being Online" as "a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission." Except for an intro, it's exactly the same thing Obama's FTC [Federal Trade Commission put out." The post (shown below) received more than 7,300 retweets and 12,000 likes in 24 hours.


Fun fact: The White House trumpets "Talking with Kids about Being Online" as "a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission." Except for an intro, it's exactly the same thing Obama's FTC put out TALKING TO YOUR KIDS TALKING TO YOUR KIDS The best way to protect your kids online? Talk to themm While kids value the opinions of their peers, most tend to rely on their parents for help on the issues that matter most The best way to protect your kids online? Telk to them. WIîle kids value the opinions of ther peers, most tend so rely on their parernts for help on the issues that Communicate your expect Be honest about your expectations in an onine context Communicatin can help your kids make smarter an decisions when they face tricky sihu specific about what's ol mits-a be unacceptable behavior Be honest about your expect in an online context. Commur can heip your kicds make sma decisions when they fece tricl specific about whet's off-limits be unacceptable behavior tart early. Start early. Young kids see their parents using all kinds of devices- and also might be playing games or watching shows on them. As soon as your chid starts using a phone, mobile device, or computer, it's time to talk to them about online behavior and safety Young kids see their parents using all kinds of devices- and also might be pleying games or weching shows on them. As soon as your child starts using a phone, mobile device, or computer, its time to talk to them about onlne behavior and safety Be patient and supportive. Be patient and supportive. Resist the urge to rush through thes your kids Most kids need to hear in n small doses, for it to sink in. If you your kids. your patience and persist long run Resist the urge to nush throug your kids. Most kids need to ir, small doses, for o sink in your kids, your petience and long nun. itiate conversations. Initiate conversations Even if your kids are comfortable approaching you dont wait for them to start the conversation. Use everyday opportunities to talk to your kids about being online For example, news stories about cyberbullying or teting while driving can spur a Even if your kids ere comfortable approaching you, dont wsit for them to start the conversation.Use everyclay opportunities to talk to your kids about beling online. For example, news stories about cyberbullying or texting while drving can spur a conversation with kids out heir experiences and your Work hard to keep the lines of com you lean your kid has done some ind inappropriate Work hard to keep the lines o สyou learn your kid has done find inappropriate Listening and taking their feelings ir conversations aloat. You may not h and being honest about that can go Uistening and taking their feel conversetions afloar You may and being honest about that c their experiences and your

The allegations were repeated in two threads on the /r/politics subreddits, [3][4] which received more than 2,000 points each.

Snopes[5] called the allegation "Mostly False." They wrote that while "a document published by the FTC in 2014 was briefly presented on WhiteHouse.gov as if it had been co-authored by Melania Trump," the notice was later corrected to state that Melania Trump was promoting the FTC material but did not author it."

White House Response

On May 8th, 2018, the White House issued a statement on the controversy.[6] They wrote:

"After giving a strong speech that was met with a standing ovation and positive feedback, the focus from opposition media has been on an educational booklet, “Talking with Kids About Being Online” produced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2009. Mrs. Trump agreed to add Be Best branding and distribute the booklet in an effort to use her platform to amplify the positive message within. As she said in yesterday’s speech, she is going to use Be Best to promote people and organizations to encourage conversation and replication, and helping the FTC distribute this booklet is just one small example.

"Despite providing countless outlets with ample background, information, and on-the-record comments from the FTC, some media have chosen to take a day meant to promote kindness and positive efforts on behalf of children, to instead lob baseless accusations towards the First Lady and her new initiatives.

"As stated by Nathaniel Wood, Consumer and Business Education Division Associate Director, FTC, 'We frequently work with members of Congress, the White House, other government agencies, and the private sector. As a small and independent civil law enforcement agency, the FTC encourages our partners to help spread our message to consumers. We were excited that Mrs. Trump distributed this important information about staying safe online. We look forward to continuing to work with her and others to help parents and children use the Internet safely and responsibly.'

"Our office will continue to focus on helping children and I encourage members of the media to attempt to Be Best in their own professions, and focus on some of the children and programs Mrs. Trump highlighted in her remarks yesterday."

Media Coverage

Several media outlets covered the announcement, including The Guardian,[11] The New York Times,[12] The New Yorker,[13] The Daily Dot [14] and more.

Search Interest

External References

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