On Monday, the right-wing tabloid The Daily Mail posted an article about the secret Facebook account of Malia Obama, former President Barack Obama’s eldest daughter. The site noted that the account, which was reportedly used by Malia during high school and her gap year before college, contained images promoting content like “Donald Trump is evil” and shared numerous private images of Malia with friends and on vacation. A separate article from the previous night exposed pictures of her drinking rosé wine while vacationing in Miami, just a few months before her 21st birthday.
At once, pro-Trump corners of social media went on the attack, firing up the outrage machine:
So Malia Obama drinks and smokes pot. She’s only 20.
Wouldn’t you if you had Barry and Michael as parents?
— Mama45 (@kdlmama) February 18, 2019
I thought they were talking about Malia Obama pictured drinking alcohol. Sure enough isn’t 21. But…how do you have a “secret” Facebook page for Trump hate? I wonder if she knows her REAL parents. Imagine the uproar of “racism” if one of Trump’s kids had anti Obama pages.
— ♑️Jamereia (@J_Shantel_Ro) February 18, 2019
Malia Obama has #TDS.
Who’s surprised? pic.twitter.com/zGhpukeZPh
— SoTrumpie (@SoTrumpie) February 18, 2019
Not surprising- Like “Father” like daughter- These people are sick- They are the evil. https://t.co/zSiYSrtV6r
— GrrrGraphics Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) February 18, 2019
Of course, millions of teenagers and young adults drink slightly before they reach legal age. One man who did so in the 1980s just ended up on the Supreme Court, despite multiple allegations he sexually assaulted women while drunk. And given that President Donald Trump has repeatedly spread racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s birthplace and academic transcripts, Malia would seem more than entitled to criticize him, let alone in her private posts with her own friends.
Even as the right tried to stir up outrage about the pictures, more liberal corners of the internet responded with even greater fury. Some people noted that, insofar as anyone needed to be sorry about these images, it was her friends more than her:
Hey y’all. Don’t click on those articles about Malia Obama. Don’t give them the clicks and the revenue. Malia was drinking rosé at a party in Miami. She needs better friends. That’s it. That’s the story. pic.twitter.com/IRtENEdDYX
— April (@ReignOfApril) February 18, 2019
Malia Obama drinks wine and hates Donald Trump, she is no different than any of us going through this hell.
But, she does need better friends, all they do is snitch.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 18, 2019
Others simply noted that she was being accused of nothing more than acting like a normal 20-year-old:
What part of Malia Obama drinking wine in Miami and hating on trump is supposed to make us mad???? pic.twitter.com/vRfPEcV1jY
— Justine Henry Ⓥ ⚙️ (@TheAtlanticWave) February 18, 2019
“Malia Obama acts like a normal 20 year old with friends” pic.twitter.com/e9meYj7RYZ
— (@ErinCasab6) February 18, 2019
I am shaken by the news of Malia Obama having opinions and friends. If she enjoys food or listens to music, I will be devastated.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) February 18, 2019
Still others asked where the outrage had been for other public figures’ youthful behavior:
Reminder for everyone talking crap about Malia Obama: the Bush twins got busted twice for underage drinking while their father was still president. They were called “spunky.”
Also, no one blamed them for their choice in friends. pic.twitter.com/M1wtBnUWx7
— Incog Nito (@countingZs) February 18, 2019
Bret Kavanaugh has a whole calendar THAT HE KEPT dedicated to underage drinking that he showed off in front of a senate committee that was during questioning about him ATTEMPTING TO RAPE A CLASSMATE and y’all want me to be mad about Malia Obama swiggin Rose? pic.twitter.com/FVT5k3e9Qa
— Kin The Rex (@KindesaurusRex) February 18, 2019
And others just raged about the fact that Malia’s privacy had been violated and her life put under a microscope just for a tabloid “gotcha”
Malia Obama has the right to her own privacy and only a vulture journalist would uncover her secret Facebook account to get clicks and revenue and in the process shame her for trying to live a normal teenage life. Petty and low.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 18, 2019
I absolutely refuse to click on this gross violation of Malia Obama’s privacy. What I will say Is that Trump ran a racist smear campaign against her Dad for years. She is entirely justified. Donald Trump is a life-long racist. Don’t forget it. https://t.co/eQjhBibGSd
— T James (@GlobalPolitico) February 18, 2019
Oh wow. Just saw all this Malia Obama stuff about her drinking in Miami. You mean to tell me a 20 year old ivy league student drank alcohol on the beach?!?WHAT?!
Good lord people. There are actual problems happening in the world. Focus on that rather than invading her privacy.
— Kristina (@livwonderfilled) February 18, 2019