Put your tweets on private mode because the feds are watching and knocking on doors.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, Department of Homeland Security, also known as, DHS used Twitter to monitor public opinion, according to a report by Bloomberg, citing internal emails obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
A DHS agent and other officers came knocking on Texas woman Madeline Walker’s door after she posted an angry tweet following the SCOTUS decision on June 24th of this year.
In Walker’s now-deleted tweet, she used a series of deeply angry phrases including “Burn every f*cking government building down right the f*ck now.” Six days later, a DHS special agent at the Threat Management Branch, Joshua Henry, showed up at her door with a letter.
In the letter, she was ordered to “cease any conduct considered harassment or threatening when communicating with or about the federal government.”
Despite Walker’s aggressive language, digital rights experts say her words were likely within the bounds of free speech. Walker wasn’t arrested or cited by DHS, but according to emails, officials felt she deserved a “knock and talk” for her “inappropriate comments.”
It is unclear how DHS connected Walker with her Twitter handle, but this is just another reminder that big brother is watching, and I’m absolutely scared.