Here's a good tip for foreign travelers hoping to visit the United States: no matter what the words "destroy America" might mean among your hometown folk, you may want to keep that phrase off your Twitter feed. Emily Bunting and Leigh Van Bryan, a pair of tourists from Great Britain, found this out the hard way after they were detained by Homeland Security for twelve hours at Los Angeles International Airport because Bryan had earlier tweeted "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." Bryan tried in vain to explain that "destroy" is just a quirky Brit way of saying "going out and getting drunk," but the humorless DHS agents presumably had not heard of partying, either. So they were deported.
"The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me 'You've really f***ed up with that tweet, boy'," Bryan told The Sun.
Bryan had also tweeted that he planned to be "diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!" — another joke, he said.
"The officials told us we were not allowed in to the country because of Leigh's tweet," Bunting told The Daily Mail. "They wanted to know what we were going to do... They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party... I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe."
Of course, what this should really leave you wondering is how Homeland Security managed to connect the pair to their tweets in only the time it took them to obtain tourist visas and then clear customs, which is when they were detained. Is your passport already linked up to your Twitter account in Homeland Security's database?