Tuesday, May 28

New plagiarism row for Melania Trump



A booklet published by Melania Trump’s new campaign for children’s online safety bears an uncanny resemblance to a document released under Barack Obama’s administration.

Donald Trump’s wife gave an opening night address at the Republican National Convention in 2016 that was partly plagiarised from a speech by then first lady Michelle Obama.

Later, in an apparent damage limitation exercise following a backlash on social media, the website’s language was updated to describe the pamphlet as a Federal Trade Commission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump.

Visitors who click on the link are taken to a pdf file of a booklet that is almost identical to one first published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2014 under the title: Net Cetera Chatting with Kids About Being Online.

The 2018 document, part of Melania’s initiative unveiled in the White House rose garden on Monday, includes a preface accompanied by her photo and signature. The lessons in this booklet can help kids act thoughtfully and kindly, she writes.

The original FTC handbook has a heading that says: Sexting: Don’t Do It. The new handbook says just: Sexting.

In the 2016 plagiarism row at the Republican convention, junior aide Meredith McIver eventually took responsibility for the error, saying that Melania had read passages of Michelle Obama’s speeches to her over the phone and she had included some of the phrasing in the final draft.