Valerie Jarrett Gets Twitter Account – and Faces ‘Cyber Bullying’

By Penny Starr | August 7, 2012 | 3:43 PM EDT

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, touted the coverage of contraceptives in Obamacare at an anti-bullying summit on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. ( Starr)

( Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, was asked by a panel moderator at the Department of Education’s Bullying Prevention Summit on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., about the “cyber bullying” she’s experienced on her Twitter account.

“In the green room back there, Valerie, you were talking about bullying – one would not think that the all-powerful Obama administration or White House could be the victim of bullying, but talk about some of the cyber bullying that you’ve experienced on the social media,” Robert Ross, president and CEO of the health advocacy group, The California Endowment, asked Jarrett.

“Well, it’s a very serious issue, and we were having this conversation, and I just joined Twitter a couple of months ago, and so you get all kinds of interesting feedback over Twitter – some of it nice, some not so nice,” Jarrett replied.

“And I’ll tell you – and I gave the comments, and I think one of the observations that I would make is that people say things to you, to each other, online that they would just never dream of saying if they were looking you directly in the face,” she added.

Jarrett was on the panel with Cynthia Germanotta, mother of Stefani Germanotta, or Lady Gaga, who said the pop icon also gets bullied on her Twitter account, where she has more than 28,000,000 followers.

Ross asked Germanotta, who runs Gaga’s anti-bullying Born This Way Foundation, how her daughter deals with the bullying.

“It’s sometimes very hurtful to her,” Germanotta said, adding that “she talks to her fans even more” to combat the negative tweets.

Jarrett announced at the event that the Department of Education will award $2,000 to a teen between the ages of 13 to 19 who comes up with the best bullying prevention video, which should include “positive messaging,” “peer-to-peer communication” and promote the government website

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