Twitter Could Get You Deported From The US

Twitter Could Get You Deported From The US

A sobering reminder that Twitter is an entirely public forum and that travel and visa rules aren’t a good subject for jokes: two British tourists were refused entry to the US after making facetious comments on Twitter.

Picture by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Daily Mail reports that Leigh Van Bryan was held in a jail cell for 12 hours and ultimately refused entry after two tweets about his trip were seen by security officials (who presumably have automated searches monitoring for these kinds of comments). One made passing reference to his impending trip to “destroy America”, which he said was a reference to partying heavily. In another tweet about the upcoming trip he quoted US sitcom Family Guy: “out another tweet which quoted hit US comedy Family Guy which read: ‘3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

The big lesson? What you say on Twitter can get noticed, and there is no such thing as a sense of humour when it comes to border control. Prospective visitors to the US from Australia should also remember to apply for an ESTA authorisation before travelling; if you don’t, you’re unlikely to get on the plane in the first place.

‘I’m going to destroy America and dig up Marilyn Monroe’: British pair arrested in U.S. on terror charges over Twitter jokes [Daily Mail]


  • no such thing as a sense of humour when it comes to border control

    Yeah but a bit of common sense and a realisation that certain tourists are going to say silly things, particularly on the net, twitter/Facebook etc. Not to mention that these social sites have a lot to answer for when they’re happily allowing anybody to monitor their customers private messages. It’s no good saying that the Govt is forcing them, they need to show a bit of spine, Twitter in particular and stand up! I gave up the Twit and F/B ages ago, maybe more people should do so and send them a message!

  • As mentioned on Gizmodo’s same article.. they could have simply meant they were going to “destroy america” in the same context that you would “destroy” or “kill” an alcoholic beverage..

    ..which is exactly what he says he meant “which he said was a reference to partying heavily.”

    This is a case of old buraeucrats not keeping up with modern cultural references and language.

  • With each passing day & passed legislation, the US seems to be eroding some bit of its precious “freedom”- turning slowly but steadily into a police state. A financial mess, a military mess, domestic mess.. the glory days of the US dominated world coming to an end, I hope…

  • This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read .. well, all day.

    What about the poor kid who spent all that money on his holidays? I hope he’s getting some of it back with the media coverage.

  • this must be some made up BS. does the US government have an algorithm that search the internets for sentences against america and put the people on a black list? really don’t think there would only have been 2 people in the world bad mouthing america or making comments similar to the quoted.

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