Melania Trump Just Ripped Off an Old FTC Document for Her 'Be Best' Campaign

Photo: Getty

Melania Trump announced her Be Best initiative today, in which she encouraged children to not do drugs and to not bully each other through the power of Be Best. To help spread this powerful message—the message, to be clear, is Be Best—the White House issued a guidance document for parents, described as “a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission.’

As first noticed by BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac, it rather seems Melania didn’t add a whole lot to the FTC’s document:


It is, indeed, almost the exact same as an Obama-era FTC guide. The Be Best guide even describes itself as a “guide from the Federal Trade Commission covers issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.”

Some things have been tweaked: While the 2014 guide advised parents to “Tell your kids to talk to you about bullying, too,” Melania’s document warns them to “Recognize the signs of a cyberbully,” including checking their social media pages. The new guidance has also removed references to phones designed specifically for children. And, of course, Melania’s guide has the Be Best logo slapped on it at the end:

Image: Splinter

To be fair, Netcetera is almost as embarrassing as Be Best.

Finally, in a devastatingly sad decision, the White House seems to have replaced the artistic depiction of a phone to make it a little more 2018:


Melania has struggled with plagiarism accusations in the past: in 2016, it appeared she plagiarized her convention speech from noted Democrat Michelle Obama.

This latest instance isn’t exactly plagiarism, but it is incredibly funny that her team just slapped the already-hilarious Be Best logo on an old FTC document and used that to launch a very incoherent, seemingly dashed-off policy that tries to encompass both the very complicated and challenging issue of opioid abuse, and “don’t post too much.”


Anyway, what would I know, I’ve never Be Best in my life. We have reached out to the White House and First Lady’s Office and will update if we hear back.

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About the author

Libby Watson

Splinter politics writer.