You know how they always say ‘the internet never forgets.’ Well, that saying might come back to haunt you, if it hasn’t already. Social media first started off as a fun place primarily for interacting with family and friends.
But nooo, Mark Zuckerberg and his team had to ruin things by blowing up the platform so huge that your parents, employers, and even the government joined in. Now, these days you have to watch what you post or comment online; you never know who could be looking.
You might be on a well-deserved night out, but upon your employer seeing it, they might assume so much that is not true. The same thing goes with your parents, spouse, and colleagues among other people you have connected with therein.
Well, the US State Department wants to use your social media history as a vetting criterion for your Visa approval. But who are we kidding, they have probably been doing that and much more for years now. So the question should be, why do they publicly acknowledge they do that just now?
Anyway, as it is, the State Department has been vetting social media and general online activities for Visa applicants who have been known to travel to areas controlled by terrorist groups. According to their official report, the number of people under this category stood at around 65,000.
Now, they want everyone applying for the US Visa to also submit their social media accounts to be used in the vetting. That means the authorities tasked with the responsibility of running background checks on Visa applicants will move from vetting 65,000 people to 14 million people. That includes the 700,000 immigrant Visas.
Though you still have the option of saying you don’t use social media during the application. If so you won’t give your social media handles, but should it be discovered you lied there will be “serious immigration consequences.”
Currently, the new Visa requirement only check on the popular social media platform, but the way things are going. Applicants will soon be required to list all their online activities across all websites.
“This is a critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States,” said an official from the State Department while addressing a section of the media.
“As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity. This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.”