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.