More than a year later, First Lady Melania Trump appears poised to take action on her November 2016 promise to help prevent cyberbullying.
The Washington Post reports that Trump will welcome executives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Snap to the White House next Tuesday for a discussion on how to combat online harassment.
Four people familiar with her efforts told the Post that Trump plans to grill the tech company execs on what they’ve done to stop online trolls and the spread of “malicious content,” but noted that she is not expected to unveil any policy proposals on the issue.
Asked about the reported meeting, a spokeswoman for Trump told the Post that the first lady had “simply asked for a meeting to discuss one of the many things that impacts children.”
Trump first pledged to combat the rise of cyberbullying a few days before husband Donald Trump won the election in November 2016.
Addressing supporters at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, the mother of son Barron, 11, promised to be an “advocate for women and for children” if her husband was elected president.
“As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies. Children and teenagers can be fragile. Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she said at the time.
Many critics were quick to point out the irony of the first lady’s mission considering her husband’s well-documented habit of humiliating and lashing out at his foes on Twitter, often using degrading and even racist nicknames.
Since then, the first lady has addressed cyberbullying only a few times, including at a high-profile address at the United Nations in September 2017, the Post noted.
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In June, the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told PEOPLE that proposed anti-cyberbullying initiatives were still in the works: “The first lady continues to be thoughtful about it, and we look forward to announcing something in the coming weeks.”
After no announcement came, Hillary Clinton in September questioned whether Trump was really “serious” about her commitment to the cause since she had yet to release a formal plan for her anti-cyberbullying efforts.
“No, no, and, look, I don’t think anybody is doing enough on cyberbullying,” Clinton said during a roundtable interview with Mic when asked if she thought Trump was doing enough with her platform.
“I think there would be a lot of people who would be willing to help her, if she were serious about actually following through,” Clinton added of the first lady.