US State Department to screen social media accounts of visa applications

US State Department to screen social media accounts of visa applications
The Siliconreview
03 June, 2019

Traveling to the United States in search of high paying jobs, a better standard of living and fulfillment has been the dream of many people across the globe. The American dream has been a beacon, attracting ambitious and talented individuals to the United States for the better part of the last half-century.

However, the Trump administration, in its efforts to put the interests of American people first has actively been clamping down on immigration ever since Donald Trump took office. Imposing harsher criteria for immigrant workers, conducting stricter background checks, banning immigrants that originate from countries with high terrorist activities, limiting the duration of professionals on work visas, etc. are some of the decisions that have been enacted to curb the continuous influx of foreign workers. But now, the U.S. State Department has begun screening the social media activity of visa applicants in a bid to tighten their restrictions on would be immigrants.

Social media activity has been perceived as a means to know a person’s interests, political perspectives, stance on pertinent social-economic issues, and so on. It was used a means to compile profiles on voters and influence voting decisions through targeted advertisements and news in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, a scandal that put the political firm Cambridge Analytica on the front pages of every major newspaper.

The Trump administration’s decision has come under intense scrutiny, due to its discriminatory nature and the fact that it may restrict the inflow of skilled labor. America has been viewed as a nation that has been built by immigrants, with founders of numerous successful corporations having been immigrants themselves or children of immigrants pursuing the American dream. Restricting immigration would have serious repercussions on innovation, which has been America’s most powerful weapon.