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British tourists banned from USA for single tweet

mutube (981006) writes | more than 2 years ago

Twitter 1

mutube writes "Tourists visiting the USA have may want to watch what they say, after two British tourists were refused entry on security grounds following a single tweet:

Before his trip, Leigh Van Bryan wrote that he was going to "destroy America". He insisted he was referring to simply having a good time — but was sent home. Trade association Abta told the BBC that the case highlighted that holidaymakers should never do anything to raise "concern or suspicion in any way". The US Department for Homeland Security picked up Mr Bryan's messages ahead of his holiday in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old bar manager wrote a message to a friend on the micro-blogging service, saying: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist," Mr Bryan said. "I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet."

In case the intended meaning is lost in translation, he was talking about having a lot to drink."
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Complete idiots-should have known better (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38889457)

In the freedom-loving UK, a junior lawyer was heavily fined and given a criminal record for a tweet in which he threatened to blow up an airport if they didn't get rid of the snow. Anybody who lacks the sense to realise that these things will be read by people for whom irony, satire, a sense of humour and, indeed, membership of the human race, is a closed book, and that they will read everything you put in the public domain, deserves what happens to them, if only because if it happens enough, eventually people will start to think that the authorities have gone too far.

Before I went to the USA on business for the first time, over 30 years ago, I got an orientation talk which went something like "On no account use any form of slang or British humour near any American official whatsoever if you want to keep out of trouble. Use American spelling at all times." This was good advice.

Things have gone very sadly downhill since a British academic, Gilbert Harding I think, faced with the US immigration form "Do you intend to overthrow the Government of the United States of America" - exact words I forget - wrote "Sole purpose of visit". They let him in...possibly because in those days far fewer people were literate and anybody in US immigration was likely to be of well above average intelligence.

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