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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Melania Trump decries 'destructive' social media

She may have married him but it is not fair to judge the First Lady of the United States by the standards set by her husband. She is clearly her own person and is starting to assert that individuality in the role she has been shoe-horned into. Nevertheless, one does have to wonder if sometimes her words and actions are meant to hint at her disapproval of some of the Presidents more extreme habits.

She is aware that an army of experts have analysed her every move since last year's inauguration. They have interpreted her body language, pored over her statements and drawn conclusions from her absences. Nobody however, knows what is really going on.

There are times though when reading between the lines throws up some interesting conclusions. Thus Melania's speech at a federal conference on cyberbullying in Maryland has drawn attention for all the right reasons.

The Guardian reports that Melania Trump used the conference to issue a warning over the destructive power of social media on the same day her husband used Twitter to attack John Brennan as “the worst CIA director in our country’s history” and a political “hack”:

Opening the Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention summit, Melania Trump said: “Let’s face it: Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults.”

“In today’s global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children’s daily lives," she said. "It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.”

Her comments come as the US president continued to fire salvos against his perceived enemies on Twitter, writing that Robert Mueller, the man leading the investigation into Russian interference in the election, was “disgraced and discredited”.

The First Lady did not directly mention the president and his aggressive use of Twitter to berate his foes and call them names, and she may well have not been conscious that there is a read-across, but it is nevertheless embarrassing for Donald Trump that his wife has been so publicly critical of the sort of behaviour he indulges in daily.

Kudos to her for using her position to campaign for a better deal for young people, despite the policies of her husband.
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