Whatever Happened to Melania Trump’s Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign? Patrick Semansky/AP – STEPHANIE MENCIMERFEB. 7, 2017 6:00 AM


On November 3, Melania Trump gave a rare speech on the campaign trail for her husband, Donald. At the end of the speech, she made an announcement: If her husband were elected, she would focus on combating cyberbullying from the White House. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other,” she said. “We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I’m privileged enough to become your first lady.”

The announcement was met with derision by people who noted that her husband was perhaps the world’s most prominent cyberbully. Lady Gaga tweeted at Melania directly:screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-feb-8-2017-3-18

Three months later, Melania Trump is indeed first lady. But what of her pledge to take up cyberbullying? Mother Jones contacted a wide range of organizations and individuals who work on cyberbullying, and not a single one of them reported being contacted by Trump or anyone in the Donald Trump administration.

“No one has reached out to us as of yet,” says Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor at Florida Atlantic University. “People are posting unsolicited editorials in our space, asking Melania to do this or do that in an open letter on various sites, but her and her team have not reached out to us or anyone we know. And it’s a pretty small circle of experts, so you’d think we’d have heard by now.”

Not even Monica Lewinsky, who broke a decade of public silence in 2014 to become an anti-bullying advocate, has heard from the new first lady. Lewinsky might seem an obvious partner for Melania, given her history with President Trump’s campaign opponent. Lewinsky has even spoken up to defend Melania and Donald Trump’s son, 10-year-old Barron, from social-media trolls. But no one in the Trump administration has reached out to Lewinsky, according to someone who works with her on the issue. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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