First lady vows to handle cyberbullying despite critics


WASHINGTON – Melania Trump pushed back against critics Tuesday, declaring her commitment to combating cyberbullying in spite of the hits she gets endured to have within the issue while her husband routinely continues Twitter to berate foes and call them names.

“I am well aware that others are skeptical of me discussing this topic,” the earliest lady said. “I happen to be criticized in my commitment to tackling this issue, i recognize that continues. But it won’t stop me from doing a few things i know is correct. We are here with one goal: helping children and our next generation.”

Mrs. Trump commented as she convened executives from major on the internet social media companies with the White House to talk about cyberbullying and online safety. The meeting came more than a year after she announced that cyberbullying could be her cause if Trump were elected president.

The choice was immediately assailed. On Tuesday, a defiant sounding Mrs. Trump said she’s not backing down.

The first lady said she gets many letters from kids who were bullied or who feel threatened on social network. She told the executives “I believe together you can produce a real improvement in encouraging positive behaviors on social network.”

Amazon, Snap, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft sent representatives, as did the world wide web Association and the Family Online Safety Institute.

“She really wanted to find out the way we can best educate parents in order to make use of the tools that companies provide to prevent kids safe online,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO with the Family Online Safety Institute, told The Associated Press following your hour-long meeting. “She is most worried about anonymity online and thinks it’s a disinhibitor to the ways in which people behave.”

Michael Beckerman, president and CEO in the Internet Association, said in the written statement the fact that meeting gave the market an opportunity to highlight investments in policies, controls, resources and programs “that market an attractive and safe online experience if you are of various age groups.”

“Internet companies take this responsibility seriously and care deeply with regards to the safety and well-being of their youngest user,” Beckerman said.

The first lady said afterward that oldsters should have ways to help children become “responsible digital citizens.” Her son, Barron, turned 12 Tuesday, putting him 1 year closer to ages of eligibility to become listed on Facebook along with other social networking sites.

“We possess a real possibility to teach positive online behaviors, but workout routines means addressing issues offline like kindness, empathy, and respect,” Mrs. Trump said inside written statement. “I am grateful towards the technology experts because of their collaboration and willingness to get together at our meeting today. I am looking forward to continuing our focus on educating children around the power of positivity.”

Balkam said he reached seem to prior first ladies but Mrs. Trump “stepped up” and “decided that is her cause.”

“The first lady addressed the challenge that was on everyone’s mind, that is the president’s own advertising and marketing use,” he said. “She addressed it and said Let me try this anyway.” There was no further discussion, he stated.

The president’s penchant for online name-calling has resulted in necessitates Twitter to terminate his account and ban him from your service. But San Francisco-based Twitter, who has 68 million U.S. users, has declined, maintaining the fact that news valuation on Trump’s tweets eclipses complaints of bullying.

During the presidential campaign, Trump often belittled his rivals, both Democratic and Republican, with name-calling: “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, “Little Marco” Rubio.

Last summer he attacked MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosts: “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as the rock Mika will not be bad people, however their low rated show is covered with their NBC bosses. Bad!”

Last week, he celebrated the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe days before his retirement ended up being take effect. Trump had accused McCabe of becoming biased against him.

“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a good day for that hardworking people today on the FBI – An incredible day for Democracy,” the president tweeted, adding an insult for McCabe’s former boss, “sanctimonious James Comey.”

The major technology companies have strict policies prohibiting harassment and also other bullying behavior for their services, but primarily depend upon users to report and weed out abuses. They try to clearly explain the kinds of remarks along with other posts which will not be tolerated in special sections, nonetheless the efforts to this point have fallen short, ultimately causing rampant abuses that even a few of the companies acknowledge have driven away or tormented servings of their audience.

There is not a federal law that pertains to bullying. State laws vary, which range from requiring public schools to acquire bullying policies to requiring anonymous reporting systems, said Sameer Hinduja, co-director from the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.


AP Business Writer Michael Liedtke in San francisco bay area led to this report.


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