Melania Trump has defended herself against attempts to ridicule her campaign Be Best, designed to combat aggressive behavior online, as she spoke at a Family Online Safety Institute conference.
"It is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue, and that's OK. I remain committed to tackling this topic because it will provide a better world for our children," she said.
She also expressed hope that people “consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior."
Enjoyed hearing from some very bright students on how they are taking action around the importance of online safety and responsibility. Thank you @FOSI and all the participants from today for tackling this very important issue. #BeBest #fosi2018 pic.twitter.com/RcurLQhlTs— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) 15 ноября 2018 г.
Her response to criticism triggered another barrage of online roasting.
Not surprising @FLOTUS doesn't get the irony of her "Be Best" campaign.— R. Hicks (@gr8fulred) 15 ноября 2018 г.
My new campaign forMelania is #BeQuiet!!— ❄️☘️ We can only Hope!!🌊🌊 (@kismet7859) 15 ноября 2018 г.
Melania — it’s not the press. It’s average citizens like me who think be best is grammatically and insanely inappropriate. It and you demean the office of @FLOTUS.— mom-against-trump (@jb31570) 16 ноября 2018 г.
It is far from just the media. It may be the most ironic campaign in the history of campaigns.— The Real D Guar (@Real_DGuar) 15 ноября 2018 г.
Slovenian-born Melania Trump, mother of Donald Trump’s 12-year-old son Barron, formally introduced her public awareness initiative called “Be Best” in May 2018. The campaign aims to shine a light "on the many issues facing children today — one of them being the safe and responsible use of social media." According to the White House's page on the campaign, the initiative is meant to teach kids "the importance of social, emotional and physical health." She promoted the initiative with a number of events, including her first solo trip abroad, as she travelled to Africa this October.
Although her message likely came from a positive place, netizens weren't exactly cheering her on, especially considering her husband’s reputation as an online bully, some media outlets have highlighted. Melania Trump has fought back against critics on several occasions.
"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," Stephanie Grisham, spokesperson for Mrs. Trump, said in August, responding to criticism of the first lady’s speech on Be Best immediately after a vigorous Twitter rant from the president.