Critics have called the first lady hypocritical for adopting the cause, given her husband President Donald Trump’s well-documented habit of humiliating and lashing out at his foes on Twitter, often using degrading and even racist nicknames.
“I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing the topic,” the first lady said Tuesday, according to a pool report. “I have been criticized for my commitment to tackling this issue and I know that will continue, but it will not stop me from doing what I know is right. I am here with one goal: helping children and our next generation.”
Executives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Snap were all present for the roundtable in the White House State Dining Room, where they discussed the impact of technology and social media on young people and ways to combat online bullying.
The first lady said she’s seeking to help the many children who have sent her letters describing how they’ve been bullied or threatened on social media.
In her opening remarks she also sent thoughts and prayers to the students, parents and staff affected by Tuesday’s school shooting in Great Mills, Maryland.
“These events are becoming far too common,” she said.
Meanwhile on social media, many critics mocked Trump’s “ironic” efforts.
Trump first pledged to combat the rise of cyberbullying a few days before her husband won the election in November 2016 but apparently has not taken significant action until now.
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.
“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 said at the time.