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U.S. Requiring Social Media Information From Visa Applicants

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by ScottPress, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    Title taken from NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/02/us/us-visa-application-social-media.html

    I thought this was an interesting enough topic that it deserves a separate thread.

    I suppose it's worth pointing out that the linked article seems to take the side of opposing this, quoting opponents of this new requirement.

    I also think that most anyone would agree that any country has the right to set whatever requirements it likes for visa seekers, so the issue is whether they should. Providing information if you want to enter another country is common sense, we have to provide info all the time for all sorts of things. I don't mean to single out USA here, my interest is more in the broader trend this promotes, which is disclosing social media/online history to access services (public or private) or enter other countries. Is this par for the course given how the Internet has changed society, or is it an unreasonable breach of privacy?
     
  2. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    To be honest, I can see both sides of the argument. While social media sites where you use real names (Facebook, Instagram(?), LinkedIn) ought to be all right, semi-anonymous fora cause a lot more of an issue. Take DLP, or reddit. Ought I be required to tell them about my handles? What about Twitter? If I operate a bunch of accounts, would I be held to court if I revealed only one, the most "socially palatable" one? What about any account on, say, Change My View forums? NoFap forums? 4Chan? YouTube? What if I'm a member of some LGBT community or social group? I might not be comfortable divulging all those identities.

    The issue is defining common sense. The most common platforms are fine, because I believe most people self-censor on there anyway. It's the ones where there is no expectation of self-censoring because of (semi-)anonymity where we have an issue.
     
  3. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    My gut instinct is that this is a privacy violation and there's no real purpose to doing so. Social media is simply too pseudonyms for this to be a practical enforcement; someone with something to hide will either claim they don't have such an account or make a fake one and it's all but impossible to prove otherwise without a detailed investigation.

    As a result, there's no real benefit to this other than security theater, and trading rights away for theater doesn't sit well with me.

    I get the argument, but it reeks of the whole "trade freedom for security" adage. I'd like to think I'd disapprove even if it was practical to enforce, but that's not the case right now anyway, so whatever.
     
  4. Imariel

    Imariel Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Frankly, I find this section the most amusing

     
  5. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    I wanted to keep the OP neutral, so I'll state my opinion here: I think it is an unreasonable breach of privacy. Scouring a person's spcial media is atm the closest thing there is to mind-reading, and I don't think anyone anywhere should have to give up the privacy of their thoughts.

    But beyond the moral/ideological opposition, there's the practical side: what exactly is defined as a social media site? We can probably safely assume Fb/Twitter, but what about YT or Reddit, where people don't ususally use their names. Or small sites, like DLP. Or some obscure fetish message board. Or a site like 4chan, which aims to be anonymous as possible.

    What if you legit don't have Fb and US says you're lying and just don't want to disclose and use this argument to refuse yoour application? How do you prove a negative i.e. that you really don't have Fb?
     
    HMM
  6. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

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  7. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    That date is interesting. I'm imagining Osama's Life Event from 2001 now.
     
  8. Longsword

    Longsword Seventh Year

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    But it is already out in the open. Who is dumb enough to post incriminating things in his social media account ?
     
  9. ThePinkTomato

    ThePinkTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Hahahahhaha.
     
  10. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    My stance would be, if it requires you/you use your real name as a handle then it can be required; but anything else nah. They need to narrowly define social media.
     
  11. Nevermind

    Nevermind Auror

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    This. I’m on Facebook under my real name, which I believe is required these days anyways, or at least that’s what Facebook says. On Twitter however, there should be no such requirement (at least to my recollection). For most normal users, the handles themselves are mostly abbreviations or other, er, quirky stuff (like my totally random example that I just thought of, @icecreamfetishist97), but even with the names you can play around a lot. For example, I only have my first name in that field. Don’t even get me started on all the traditionally more anynomous or totally anonymous sites.

    TL;DR: It’s a total minefield that should require careful thought and eventual legislative wording. I am expecting an ill-conceived mess within the year.
     
  12. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

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    The only vetting immigration should do is checking ur posts in the dlp politics forum imo. Would keep Invictus nicely contained
     
  13. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    My stance is that the USA should be honoured to have me, hence I expect a red carpet treatment. Since that here is the opposite, I'm not interested.

    But that aside -- what are they doing if the answer is "I have no social media I used in the last five years"? Do they have to prove you do? Do you have to prove you don't (lol)? Seems not very practical. The underlying idea is, of course, shit -- nothing in the world (including the end of the very) weighs up having to give up your privacy, but leaving fundamental issues of believes and ideals aside, this just appears to be not thought through.
     
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Immediate reaction: It's info you've put out into the public. Don't like it? Don't come here.

    Actual comment: Visa evaluations are basically very superficial clearance checks, and social media has always been required for those. So meh. This just typical hysteria by anti-security alarmists.
     
  15. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    I'd have less of an issue with this if the people in charge had any idea about the culture/use of technology they are making decisions about.
     
  16. pbluekan

    pbluekan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    That won’t happen until the last of the baby boomers give up their stranglehold on American politics. Even then, the anti-expert culture that pervades the U.S. might continue to stifle well reasoned politics.
     
  17. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Minister of Magic

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    A lot of employers require this. Hopefully, it would be more difficult to acquire a visa than it is to get a job. Then again... congress.



    About a year back some local neckbeard was driving, around drinking alcohol, and videoing himself at the same time. He laughed and told the cops to come get him. Then he posted it. The local cops obliged and posted their own video to their Facebook of the arrest.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of people.
     
  18. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    As far as I know, this is a policy, not a statute. I don't think Congress has much to do with it. And the people who review applications do actually know what they're doing.
     
  19. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Minister of Magic

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    Since when has that stopped them from sticking their nose into pretty much anything?
     
  20. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Since you might actually know, how would they actually enforce this? Wouldn't it be fairly easy for someone to simply claim they don't use social media, or provide an 'alt' account? As far as I can tell, there's no way to really confirm or deny that without trawling through dozens, if not hundreds, of quasi-random social media accounts looking for the specific one belonging to the person in question, and that's assuming they don't delete it or set it to private or whatever.
     
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