Watch what you post online

Whatever you post online could come back to haunt you one day. Every word, photo, opinion or joke you post online sometimes without giving a second thought could come up at the least expected time and cause you trouble. This has always been a nightmare lurking in the minds of many Internet users and online privacy advocates. The nightmare is about to come true, as there are reports that the United States is thinking of introducing social media posts checks to its visa application process.
“The US Department of Homeland Security is working on a plan to scrutinize social media posts as part of its visa application process before certain people are allowed entry into the nation, a person familiar with the matter said,” as reported by The Wall street Journal.
It is a controversial idea, no doubt; on one hand there are issues like freedom of speech and an individual’s ability to go online and be spontaneous and forthcoming and on the other there is the governments’ responsibility to do everything within their power to protect their people.
The American Immigration authorities reportedly were unable to discover or link her postings to any potential risks when she applied for and obtained a US K-1 fiancé visa, according to Mashable.
“It’s difficult to say exactly what (went wrong) and how, but for an individual to be able to come into this country –– one who the FBI has maintained had terrorist tendencies or affiliations or sympathies at least for a couple years, and then to propagate an attack like that on our own soil, obviously, I think it’s safe to say there’s going to be lessons learned here,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby while talking to Digital Trends.
It is worth mentioning that monitoring social media by governments and their different security agencies is not new; virtually, all governments around the world monitor social media sites in one way or the other. In a world where social media has turned into a vital channel for many terrorist and hate groups to promote their ideas and hunt for recruits, governments have nothing but to face the dark side of the Internet.
Moreover, banning people from entering the US based on their social media feeds has already happened before; in 2012, US Department for Homeland Security had picked a British young man and his friend the moment they landed on the American soil and sent them home because of a couple of tweets they exchanged before making the trip to the US.
In a nutshell, what is makes this report a bit different is that the US is turning it into an official practice, a part of a publicized process. So, it is advisable to think twice before sharing anything online.