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UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

Anonymous Coward

Yes, good idea

After all pandering to lunatics has always been effective in the past in making them see reality and in no way promotes their belief that their actions are reasonable.

Home Office actually says "we want their money and you are fking it up, so what if they are loons. Just keep schtum and get us the cash"

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Re: Yes, good idea

It's simpler than that. On official accounts, what is posted must be the official view of the organization. Private accounts should not mention the org. If you work for Boeing and post "I work for Boeing, and frankly Airbus makes safer planes", you'd expect some flak from higher up, too.

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TRT
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Pint

Re: Yes, good idea

I like your use of the word "flak" in that post.

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Trollface

Re: Yes, good idea

Doesn't flak usually come from underneath though?

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Big Brother

Re: Yes, good idea

"However, some have commented that the reminder reflects an increasingly draconian and closed social media policy - following the more open attitude encouraged by the likes of the Government Digital Service."

And it won't be long until this 'policy' spreads to regular citizens. Any government that seeks to control speech is not a democracy.

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Boffin

@AC ... Re: Yes, good idea

Seriously?

The point is that if you post something online, it will haunt you as long as its available.

With respect to DHS scanning your online social media profile... there's a very good reason for that.

Perhaps you don't remember the San Bernardino shooting?

The investigation found that the guy was radicalized by his wife that he brought in to the US to get married. Had they scanned her social media account during the immigration process, they would have found her comments and caught her in a lie. In fact her profile was filled with a couple red flags.

So there is a reason why DHS is now attempting to do this.

Facebook is pulling a brain dead stunt, of course, all your data is theirs.

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Re: Yes, good idea

Only media flak.

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Thumb Up

Re: Yes, good idea

Doesn't flak usually come from underneath though?

Beat me to it ya buggar..

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Re: Yes, good idea

The problem is most people have social media accounts that are or have previously been linked and with a bit of googling even if you severed the link between LinkedIn and twitter there is a good chance google will link your accounts together again.

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Headmaster

Re: @AC ... Yes, good idea

@Ian Michael Grumby

"In fact her profile was filled with a couple red flags."

From that statement either you're doing a very poor job at exaggerating or her profile was very small.

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Re: @AC ... Yes, good idea

@Ian Michael Gumby - "The investigation found that the guy was radicalized by his wife"

Really? Wikipedia says they both ahd become radicalized before meeting each other: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_San_Bernardino_attack#Motive

Sure, slurping social media data at the borders might give some short-term successes, but it's going to generate a lot more false positives, people just mouthing off a bit, especially if whoever is running it decides that insulting Trump == terrorist. The avalanche of false positives will make identifying and following up the important ones harder - weren't the Boston bombers flagged more than once as "of interest", but dropped through the cracks?

Long term, this will produce far more people who perceive that they are being unjustly targetted, and a small proportion of those will take further steps in radicalization while making sure not to do them on facebook.

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Re: @AC ... Yes, good idea

The ends do not justify the means.

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Re: Yes, good idea

It's Russian flak - Modelled over Russian traffic, It will try to murder you from any direction at any time.

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Mushroom

Re: @AC ... Yes, good idea

Had they scanned her social media account during the immigration process,

What about After? According to Snowden and Wikileaks "they" suck up Everything - but - are too retarded or overwhelmed to do anything useful with any of it, except AFTER he fact, where failure is rewarded with more resources.

Maybe "they" even let terrorist roam and terrorise freely - because, failure brings in more powers and bennies for much less Effort than actual Work!?

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Re: Yes, good idea

That depends if it's upflak or downflak, sideflak is quite rare though.

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FAIL

Re: Yes, good idea

Last thing we want is an official spat between the 'monkey overlord' and the home office. It would lead to even more people having visa issues in the name of racism, sorry I mean in the name of keeping America safe.

But does seem to be good advice.

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Re: Yes, good idea

It's not that simple at all. Obviously mentioning in the same item both your employer and a controversial view relevant to your employer's business is potentially going to get you in trouble but I sincerely doubt this is what they're seeing.

Is it fair to say that if your employer is listed anywhere in the internet as HO you aren't allowed to publish anything political because a simple search will uncover your affiliation? That's more like how their internal email sounds to me.

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TRT
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Absolutely uncalled for...

There's no need to post negative tweets about President Trump. Just simply retweeting him is saying enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

It's better to have people *think* you're a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt....

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Black Helicopters

Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

Some advice some political leaders would do well to heed.

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Joke

Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

"Some advice some political leaders would do well to heed"

I think you meant to say "*ALL* political leaders" in there.

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Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

I dunno, Justin Trudeau seems to be doing pretty well on his own.

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Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

"I dunno, Justin Trudeau seems to be doing pretty well on his own."

This is a gross oversimplification but...

Trump got elected because he ran a popularity contest out of his reality TV "star" status / outsider status.

Trudeau got elected because he's cool and popular on social media.

More than ever voters basically make decisions based on popularity contests, this does not bode well for the future of mankind :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

Trump didn't get elected because of the TV shows. The TV shows themselves had nothing to do with it. However, people CHOOSING TO BE UNINFORMED and make statements claiming that the TV show had anything to do with it are a one of the reasons he DID get elected.

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Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

<quote>It's better to have people *think* you're a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt....</quote>

Homer's Brain: What does that mean? Better say something or they'll think you're stupid.

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Pint

Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

Then how did 'Cruella deville' herself get elected Pry Minister of UK? Oh wait she wasn't elected, good point.

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Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

Then how did 'Cruella deville' herself get elected Pry Minister of UK? Oh wait she wasn't elected, good point

Humour me. Name one Prime Minister who had been elected into the role.

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Anonymous Coward

"However, some have commented that the reminder reflects an increasingly draconian and closed social media policy - following the more open attitude encouraged by the likes of the Government Digital Service."

This isn't about social media policy, it's about compliance with the civil service code, which is pretty clear on these matters.

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And if you are nice about him you too might get paid 600K for 1 day a week while still keeping your government job - that's the "code"

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This - its also worth noting that dissing your employer in your private social media is a very grey area within the civil service code and will almost certainly be against the department social media policy.

However I don't see how re-posting anti-Trump tweets on your home social media would get you in trouble, its not like disliking Trump brings the civil service into disrepute.

Still best not to do it on the official home office tweets and blogs though - those are only for puff pieces.

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Anonymous Coward

I guess it's that Trumpet is the President of the United States of America that's the issue. The man is a tosser without a doubt but whilst he's in office a negative tweet is a criticism of the state even if it is directed at the man. Home Office, government, diplomacy etc. AC because CS Code.

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Anonymous Coward

The above AC has this correct.

It's exactly the same reason as to why civil servants shouldn't be posting negative (or overly positive) posts about our domestic political "leaders" either. One day they may be called into acting in support of them. Having gone on public record with published comments criticising them and their policies can put he civil service as an institution on difficult ground. Impartiality goes all ways.

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"However I don't see how re-posting anti-Trump tweets on your home social media would get you in trouble, its not like disliking Trump brings the civil service into disrepute."

Unless said person is visiting the US and their social media is examined along with their other details such as current employer.

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Boffin

"However I don't see how re-posting anti-Trump tweets on your home social media would get you in trouble, its not like disliking Trump brings the civil service into disrepute."

Unless said person is visiting the US and their social media is examined along with their other details such as current employer.

There are a couple of issues that are being conflated.

1) On the internet, things are remembered for a long time. So while you have your first amendment freedoms, you may want to think before you post. Or use an alias.

2) DHS using your social media profiles to question you when you isn't a bad thing. In a prior post I talked about being able to flag a potential terrorist. There is evidence that during the screening process, social media posts were not considered. If they were... it would have been easier to spot and deny entrance to would be bad guys.

3) What would cause you to be flagged in the first place?

Saying negative anti-Trump things? Hardly unless they were actual threats. (He's the sitting POTUS so threatening him is a crime.) But saying something like "I don't like Trump because he lies and claims that his plants are bugged ..." Or something even sillier, isn't going to get you in trouble.

The whole idea is that when they swipe your biometric passport, they can pull up your social media accounts. Actually they would have pulled up the profiles prior to your boarding or even while on the flight.

Its a non issue. If they want to pull up my social media accounts, all they would find is my LinkedIn profile.

There's nothing there that would be of interest to anyone from any country.

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Anonymous Coward

Or to summarise, "nothing to fear -> nothing to hide".

No.

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Pint

@Ian Michael Gumby - "On the internet, things are remembered for a long time. So while you have your first amendment freedoms, you may want to think before you post. Or use an alias."

Are you planning to tweet that to Trump on his twitter account too? If you can get through to him, it might save everyone a lot of trouble in the long run.

"If they want to pull up my social media accounts, all they would find is my LinkedIn profile."

And your Reg account. This is social, isn't it?

"There's nothing there that would be of interest to anyone from any country."

Including your support for "extreme vetting" and other anti-democratic opinions? Or you being a self-confessed pizza snob? In some countries, you're being American and technical (groking 6502, 6800, 8080A along with other languages) could flag you as a serious threat to the local Great Firewall.

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Trollface

They should stick to the facts

...the alternative ones, that is.

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Trollface

Clarification required

What's their policy on non-home office staff stating that they are home office staff and *then* negging on Trump?

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Re: Clarification required

"Oh, sorry - did I say I work for the Home Office? My mistake, I meant to say I work from my home-office."

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Re: Clarification required

Perhaps go for the ambiguous "Home Office Worker"

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Joke

Ban?

So this is really a ban on posting about trump then? After all, it's all but impossible to find anything positive to say about him...

(see icon)

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Re: Ban?

I mean, you intended it as a joke but it's pretty much spot on.

Should I laugh of cry?

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Ban?

"He has invaded far fewer countries than the previous Republican president."

Fake News! In the first 50 days in office, Trump invaded Yemen. I don't think Bush invaded anyone in the first 50 days in office.

You have to give Trump time, he's only just got his feet under the desk. Then we'll see how many countries he can invade...

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Re: Ban?

Did Trump really invade Yemen? I mean, if it's continuing the policy of military intervention of GW Bush and Barack Obama in Yemen, can it really be said to be Trump's invasion?

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Re: Ban?

Depends on your definition of "invade". Given how Trump during the campaign stated the 'real' unemployment rate "was 25-30%, and some claim as high as 42%" (since only 58% of the entire US population from 1 day old to 110 years old is employed, the remaining 42% can be considered unemployed if you include all those freeloading infants and centenarians) and specifically told Shawn Spicer what to say when the new monthly figures came out with 4.7% unemployment, down from Obama's pre-election low of 4.9%.

A reporter asked if Trump still considers the reported unemployment numbers fake, and Spicer say "President Trump asked me to give a specific answer if this question is asked. The unemployment numbers were fake before, but now they're real".

So I'm pretty sure Trump would claim that Bush and Obama invaded Yemen, but he had not.

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FAIL

It's a personal account, FFS

Barring divulging sensitive/commercial information, I see no reason to regulate a persons usage of a personal account to say anything on Twitter. About half the Twitter users on the planet are saying "Trump's a twat" in various guises on Twitter, I'm sure, and he's certainly supplying plenty of evidence to back them up.

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Wrong approach

I don't know about England, but in France when you are working for the Government, you have a duty of restraint. The fact that the account is personal makes no difference to the fact that, as a Government worker/contractor, what you say reflects partly on the Government you work for.

It is in that sense that I completely understand the Home Office's action.

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Re: It's a personal account, FFS

I think the issue is that in their profile they say who they work for. If you're going to post something your employer might not like make sure there's no link to who that is in your profile.

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Re: Wrong approach

"you have a duty of restraint. "

Most UK employment contracts will have something along the lines of "actions which may bring the company into disrepute" which can be used against an employee if their actions are carried out in a way where they are linked to an employer.

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