Inside the 5 ★ Facebook reviews of Melania Trump

Facebook's review system normally allows restaurants and local businesses to thrive - but what happens when it’s switched on for a public figure's page?

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How would you rate Melania Trump? What would you say, given the opportunity to review her as a person, a mother, and a first lady? How do you imagine the world might rate her, collectively, given the chance? Stop imagining – the answer is at 4.3 out of five stars, as evidenced by the Melania Trump Fan Club Facebook page.

The internet is full of little oddities. If you Google the number “4636228756”, for example, the Image results will be pictures of people with their heads inside of washing machines. Melania Trump’s Facebook fan page is a similarly strange corner of the web. Though Facebook has offered users the ability to leave ratings and reviews on public Pages since 2013, it is an opt-in service. As such, people who run Facebook Pages for restaurants and local business frequently switch it on – those who run pages for public figures frequently do not.

You won’t find any Facebook reviews of Donald Trump, nor his daughter Ivanka. There are no Facebook reviews for Barack and Michelle Obama – who, like the 45th President, have the rating setting switched off on their official and unofficial Pages. Melania’s unofficial Page – which was “created to create a positive environment to support our amazing 1st Lady” and has over one million Likes – is, however, full of them.

“I am so very proud to have you as our First Lady... What an example!!!!!!!!!!” reads one of the 3,400 five star reviews. “I thank the Lord for you… I give you five stars!”

Each five star review is remarkably similar (the word “class” appears frequently) but some are addressed to Melania directly while others read as though she is a service, business, or well, object to be reviewed. “Melania is the most beautiful first lady ever. she is gracious and kind and humble. she loves our nation,” reads one.

“She knows how to strike a pose! and her eyes are so caring... she loves her pets... just hope she gets that tea set she really likes,” says another, potentially joke, post. Many review her decisions, particularly in regards to her family: “I do think she is doing the right thing though by letting the young son finish his school year in NY.”

Not all five star reviews come from a deep affection for the first lady, however. “It can't be easy to live with Donald Trump,” points out one reviewer. Mostly, however, it is the one star reviews which are home to politics. Some talk about how Michelle Obama has “a much better kind heart” and others bemoan the cost of security to keep Melania safe in Trump Tower. One eschews the political trend to one-star her personality: “Your must have your own personality. Do not try to make the poses like the wife of English ex- football player.(Victoria Caroline Beckham)”.

Yet although it is evident why people post one or five star reviews of the first lady (clue: it has to do with their political affiliation), it is the two and three star reviews that are a bit more bemusing.

“I'm definitely not embracing her but I can hope for the best and send her suggestions..I fear she is not very smart” explained a 3 star reviewer on the 26th December. Some reviewers seem to mistakenly believe that the page offers a direct line to Melania herself – a fair assumption, as Ivanka’s Page is written in the first person and is run by either herself or her team.

“I hope she will champion wildlife,” offers another three star review. Some low reviews are clearly technical errors. “Don't listen to the media they are jealous of how beautiful you are,” reads a two star review.

On the whole, then, Melania’s reviews are an odd mix – and perhaps offer insight into why the review setting is turned off on the majority of public figure’s pages. Most celebrities have comments open on their Facebook pages so that people can leave their opinions (“Do not pursue a solo career please!!!!” says the latest on Harry Styles) but not many have a star rating system. Melania, however, gets a new review every few hours. On the whole, it is meaningless, but one reviewer disagrees.

 “The Fan club is one of the factors that will make America great again,” writes Amodu, alongside five stars.  

Amelia Tait is features editor at Shortlist.com, she was previously the New Statesman's tech and digital culture writer, and tweets at @ameliargh.