A booklet published on Monday as part of First Lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpHillicon Valley: Chinese firm asks feds to lift business ban | North Korean hackers grow more brazen | Panel advances DHS cyber pick | Dems want scrutiny of T-Mobile, Sprint merger FULL VIDEO: Melania Trump unveils ‘Be Best’ initiative for kids Melania Trump unveils wide-ranging platform on children’s issues MORE‘s “Be Best” campaign copies a document first published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during President Obama’s administration.
Trump had released the PDF as part of her “Be Best” initiative on Monday, the goal of which is to “encourage positive social, emotional, and physical habits” among children and focus on their well-being online. The pamphlet, meant for parents, talks about addressing children’s conduct online such as cyber-bullying and how to navigate inappropriate content.
Internet archives show that the brochure was originally shared on the “Be Best” campaign website as a booklet by Melania Trump and the FTC but was later changed to show that it was simply “promoted” by the first lady and written by the FTC.
The first version read: “Parents, click here to read Talking with Kids about Being Online, a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission.”
The updated website reads: “Parents, click here to read “Talking with Kids about Being Online,” a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump.”
However, the change came too late for those who had already noticed that the brochure was nearly identical to a brochure titled “Net Cetera – Chatting with Kids About Being Online,” which was put out by the FTC in 2014.
As @rudepundit points out Melania’s guide to teaching kids about the internet is very similar to one put out by the Obama admin. But there are some changes… https://t.co/5AxqYmuyWL pic.twitter.com/wRyzZvuEwL
— Sarah Mimms (@SarahMMimms) May 7, 2018
Fun fact: The White House trumpets “Talking with Kids about Being Online” as “a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission.” Except for an intro, it’s exactly the same thing Obama’s FTC put out. pic.twitter.com/AEf6F0gBbt
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) May 7, 2018
Both PDF’s use similar graphics and design, as well as language. Some areas have been updated with changes, such as a subject heading that was changed from “Sexting: Don’t Do It.” to just: “Sexting.” The two booklets also have different introductions.
The Hill has reached out to The White House for comment.
Melania Trump has faced criticism for apparent plagiarism in the past, most notably at the Republican National Convention in 2016, where she nearly copied a paragraph from former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMelania Trump unveils wide-ranging platform on children’s issues The Hill’s Morning Report — Sponsored by FICO — First lady Melania Trump steps out Melania Trump to unveil formal agenda on Monday MORE‘s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.
Updated 8:20 a.m.