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Trump Admin. to Demand Visa Applicants Turn Over Social Media History

by Countable | Updated on 3.30.18

What’s the story?

  • As part of his effort to implement "extreme vetting," President Donald Trump plans to require all foreigners applying for visas to submit their social media usernames for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms.

  • The State Department’s proposal, which must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, would also require visa applicants to list their previous email addresses, phone numbers, and international travel from the last five years.

  • The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal; comments can be submitted here or sent to PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov.

What would this information do?

  • "Maintaining robust screening standards for visa applicants is a dynamic practice that must adapt to emerging threats," State Department spokesperson for the Bureau of Consular Affairs Virginia Elliott told ABC News. He added:

"Collecting this additional information from visa applicants will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity."

What do you think?

Should visa applicants have to disclose their social media accounts? Hit Take Action and tell your reps. And be sure to submit your comments here or email them to PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: stockcam / iStock)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(202)
  • Dara
    03/30/2018
    ···

    This is almost laughable. If I were to judge the current president by his social media I wouldn’t allow him to don the doors of my home let alone the country. Investigate each individual with actionable intel. People can write whatever on social media, it is their actions that define them. This president claims to be implementing tough tariffs when in reality they have been so watered down for multiple countries that they mean nothing. Stop listening to embellished rhetoric and look at the actions. This is MORE swamp. Bad policy.

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  • Lenny
    03/30/2018
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    I’m actually dumber now, just from having read this dumb shit.

    Like (95)
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  • Frank
    03/30/2018
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    Absolutely NOT. This is a crass and vulgar violation of the Constitution and of democracy. Is Trump really that paranoid that people don’t like him? Ridiculous. This bill should be killed immediately.

    Like (86)
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  • Jennifer
    03/30/2018
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    This is a total invasion of privacy

    Like (61)
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  • Lori
    03/30/2018
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    This is not who we are.

    Like (60)
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  • Robert
    03/30/2018
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    So much for what’s left of our tourist trade. A whole lot of people are going to be joining me in telling Humpty Trumpty to put it where the sun don’t shine. What a dumbass move!

    Like (47)
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  • Hillary
    03/30/2018
    ···

    This is absurd. What next-write down all our dreams every morning? Save every homework assignment k-12? Keep track of every daydream? And what about people who don’t use or very rarely use any social media?

    Like (45)
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  • Cheryl
    03/30/2018
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    Absolutely not! This isn’t vetting, it’s license to discriminate. If I were to judge Trump by his social media presence he would fail “bigly.”

    Like (38)
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  • OlderNWiser
    03/31/2018
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    And so the Third Reich begins. Ignorant, yes— dangerous? Oh yes. Don’t let our republic become the dictatorship that #45 wants it to be. What countries control social media? China. Get him out.

    Like (35)
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  • Larry
    03/30/2018
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    Interesting requirement from a President that refuses to show his tax returns.

    Like (31)
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  • Jennifer
    03/30/2018
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    There is a process that the prevention field uses...Multiple Strategies through Multiple Domains. No one thing is an ingredient for preventing something, but rather part of the overall recipe. Why on earth wouldn’t we want to view their beliefs and whether they’ve supported terrorist ideation or a dislike for our country? Aren’t we all just shocked after any event (bombing, machete attack, mowing people down with cars, mass shooting, etc), at their posts? Often their intent was right there. Then you all ask, “Why didn’t someone say, something?” Yes, it might mean they react by disguising their intent, but this is just one strategy in the domain of social media that must be examined. All the liberals who believe that this is about Trump wanting to see what was written about him, honestly, it must be so life-suckingly draining to view everything through the, “I hate DJT,” lenses with which you view life. Grow up.

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  • Robert
    03/30/2018
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    This will be as effective as a border wall. Just too many ways over it under it and around it.

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  • ACM4460
    03/30/2018
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    I wouldn’t want this done to me, and I have to figure visa applicants likely aren’t terrorists, so I don’t support this.

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  • James
    03/30/2018
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    Sound like a winner to me! Make it happen and do tough screening! We want to know who is coming here or attempting to come here! That’s one of the best ways to vet especially people from the Middle East! See what they have been doing on the Internet! Search their contacts! Their Facebook! Everything! We do not need extremists and Nit Wits here!

    Like (18)
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  • Lorri
    03/30/2018
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    Stupid stupid stupid bill..., please veto!

    Like (15)
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  • RadicalModerate
    03/30/2018
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    There are some totalitarian regimes in Asia that monitor their subjects with a mandatory app for smart phones that alerts the authorities if the user commits what George Orwell best described as thought crime. Are Americans going to let this happen here?

    Like (14)
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  • Gerald
    03/30/2018
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    I am sure we will prevent terrorists from visiting based upon their social media. No terrorist would think to open up a Facebook account that praised trump as wonderful knowing his visa would be expedited.

    Like (12)
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  • KansasTamale
    03/30/2018
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    WHAT??? This man is such an idiot. Somebody needs to show Trump the videos made for kids that explains how our government works. For God’s Sake this is a complete VIOLATION of the First Amendment and an INVASION OF PRIVACY.

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  • Alannahcampion
    03/30/2018
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    This Is a gross proposal for overreach by the federal branch. Another step in creating an Authoritarian government. For a country that prides itself on the 1st amendment this is just hypocritical to put it politely.

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  • John
    03/31/2018
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    This is ridiculous! No government that claims to be a democracy and believes in freedom would even contemplate this. Of course, 45 thinks he is a ruler and everyone should dance to his tune. How about we get that same information, plus tax returns, from 45?

    Like (8)
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