Trump administration includes social media checks for Chinese visitors. The policy is asking the Chinese visitors to the United States to disclose their social media handles such as that of the Facebook or Twitter. This check will be covering the Chinese citizens hold long term business and visitor visas.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are proposing to ask Chinese visitors to disclose their social media “handles” or other identifiers on common social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The question would be asked online as part of an electronic system Chinese holders of long-term U.S. business and visitor visas use to advise of upcoming travel.” said a report in the Politico.
Though providing the social media information would be “optional,” CBP said in a notice set for publication Tuesday in the Federal Register. They assured that those who don’t wish to answer will have their travel requests processed “without a negative interpretation or inference,” the notice said according to the report.
“A decision hasn’t been made on which platforms will be on the drop down, but travelers can submit any platform they want.” said Jennifer Evanitsky, spokeswomen of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection when asked on which social media platforms would be asked for.
The initial iteration of the program to collect social media handles asked travelers about profiles on sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. However, residents of China tend to use other social media platforms because most of the US based social media sites are often banned by the Chinese government.
“The move to cover Chinese visitors in the social-media-focused screening comes as Trump administration officials are publicly discussing far more intrusive steps to vet foreigners seeking to enter the U.S., including asking for social media passwords.” added the report in the politico.
The news brought about uproar among the Chinese social media users especially on Weibo. Among the heated discussions on the social media, some users on Weibo pledged to stop using the ever growing memes making fun of Donal Trump while some even suggested to start following Donald Trump on Twitter to impress the US officials.