Freedom of expression under threat - take action!


Thousands of people are being asked to show five years of social media history to qualify for U.S. visas. Stop this chipping away of global freedom of expression: send a message to the government consultation!

The Trump administration is still trying to force U.S. visa seekers to provide five years of social media history before they’ll even be considered for a visa.1

It’s a chilling attack on global free speech: anyone, anywhere who is about to post something controversial or critical of governments may now be concerned that such rules could — now or someday — be made to apply to them.

But the reason I’m writing to you today is because we have a chance to stop this.

This rule was only granted six-month temporary emergency approval, but now they’re seeking to make it more permanent. The final consultation — where the Department of State is asking for public feedback on the proposed rule — is now online.2 This is our last chance to demand this rule be dropped, for good.


Since this rule was put in place, our community has been fighting tooth and nail to get it removed. Together, we’ve jammed the office responsible for approving the rule with over 11,000 emergency messages in an unusual way — straight to their fax machine. And we submitted over 700 comments against this rule to the first round of consultations. Our opposition is coming through loud and clear.

Right now, as I write this, there’s a total six comments already submitted. Yes, only six! So, to put it mildly, there’s a huge chance for us to make a big impact. Even a very short note will make a difference, and I’ve put in some talking points to help get you started.


By the government’s own estimates, over 70,000 people from non-visa-waiver countries are expected to be directly affected by this rule. But you and I know that the real effects spread much further. We are risking a global shift towards people being stopped from posting anything controversial online for fear of being denied the opportunity to live, work, or reunite with friends and family in a new country.

I hope I can count on you to stand up for freedom of expression with us, and help stop this rule.

Thank you for everything that you do,

Victoria with OpenMedia

P.S. We know our actions have teeth. Earlier this year, over 50,000 of us sent messages to key Homeland Security committee members to oppose former Secretary John Kelly’s plans to require visitors to the U.S. to hand over social media passwords. Our work made the issue toxic, and the department backed away from the plans and have made no move to revive them with the hiring of the new Secretary. We need to do the same here, and I know with your help we can!

[1] US can ask visa applicants for social media history: BBC
[2] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants:


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#politics #freedom #liberty #Internet #visas #USvisas #US #USA #OpenMedia #privacy
 from Diaspora
Lol, Charlie! Seriously, though, you know trends like this are meant to (and will) go global. Right?
 from Diaspora
I'm curious - how would they know if I use social media?
 from Diaspora
you know trends like this are meant to (and will) go global. Right?

I thought it already had, and I don't understand what is wrong with Japan or Iran or any other country not letting people into their country they don't like.

I certainly do that. I'm hosting a New Year's Eve party in a few days and there are several people I don't allow to come in my house because I don't like them.