Melania Trump’s new booklet campaigning for children’s online safety has come under scrutiny for bearing an uncanny resemblance to a document released under Barack Obama’s administration.
Melania’s initiative, Be Best, which launched on Monday, has a page on the official White House website that said near the bottom: “Parents, click here to read Talking with Kids about Being Online, a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission.”
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. pic.twitter.com/AEf6F0gBbt
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) May 7, 2018
Following widespread backlash on social media over the plagiarized work, the website’s language was updated to describe the pamphlet as “a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump”.
Visitors who click on the link are taken to a pdf file of a booklet that is almost identical to one first published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2014 under the title: Net Cetera – Chatting with Kids About Being Online.
Republican convention, junior aide Meredith McIver took the fall, saying that Melania had read passages of Michelle Obama’s speeches to her over the phone and she had included some of the phrasing in the final draft.
Meanwhile, Melania’s office issued a statement attacking “opposition media” for its coverage of the similarity between the two booklets.
“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,” it said.
Donald Trump‘s wife had been mired in plagiarism after she gave an opening night address at the Republican National Convention in 2016 that was partly plagiarised from a speech by then first lady Michelle Obama.