Melania's "Be Best" document was a copy, too

Yesterday we told you about a document released by First Lady Melania Trump and the White House about Internet Bullying. Overnight it was revealed that this document wasn't just written in part by the FTC, as we mentioned, but it was almost a carbon copy of a document released by the FTC back in 2014. All that was changed were the icons and the title of the document.

As pointed out first (as far as we can see) by BuzzFeed's Ryan Macc on Twitter, the first release of this document made no mention of the original. Instead, this was a matter of re-use without proper attribution. This is evidenced by the changing of the language on the release website.

White House language on "Be Best" document website:

• Earlier in the day: "a booklet by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission"

• After copying discovered: "a Federal Trade Comission booklet, promoted by First Lady Melania Trump."

What happened here? Occam's Razor: Someone said "We need Melania to produce something for her stated platform, ending internet bullying." Someone else said "Let's just update this pamphlet made by the FTC back in 2014 with new icons, and a new name so it fits our needs a little better." It's unlikely Melania herself had much to do with this – it's not as if she was digging through FTC documents one day and said "OH, let's use THIS one!"

Melania Trump's Talking With Kids About Being Online 2018 by burnsydelight on Scribd

ABOVE: Melania's document, 2018. BELOW: FTC's document, 2014.

FTC's Net Cetera 2014 by burnsydelight on Scribd

In reality, this is an issue of language. When the document was released, those handling Melania's PR should have been clear about the source of the content in the document. They DID mention that the document was made with FTC involvement. They did NOT mention that Melania had approximately next-to-nothing to do with the document's creation.

This is an issue for Melania – but it's more of an issue for her husband. She'll go on to chill with cash for the rest of her life, while Donald's cloud of disgrace continues to thicken. If at least the graphic designers are on point.

ALSO NOTE: I say "too" in the title because Melania Trump's Republican National Convention speech was straight up plagiarized. Fail mark, see the teacher after class.

UPDATE: There's a document sent today by the office for the First Lady Melania Trump in response to articles like the one you're currently in.