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

'We need to be careful here'

Exclusive The UK Home Office is warning staff and contractors not to tweet or retweet negative posts about Donald Trump, in an email about its social media guidance seen by The Register.

In a missive to the department's Digital, Data and Technology unit last week, it told staff "a quick look through just a couple of known personal twitter accounts of DDaT staff members shows that some are not compliant."

Accounts are "stating that they work for the Home Office, posting HO work, whilst tweeting or retweeting negative posts about, for example, [US President] Donald Trump," it said.

"We need to be careful here and ensure all our staff are following this guidance which reflects the Civil Service Code," it added.

The US Department of Homeland Security is currently using software to scan social media accounts of people visiting the United States (with a low "match confidence" tool, as it transpired). This is just one of Donald Trump's “extreme vetting” methods in order to try and prevent possible terrorists from entering. The software appears to be encountering problems.

The email from the Home Office reminded staff that the Department's Social Media Guidance has been updated.

It said key things to be aware of regarding the guidance is that it applies to all staff including contractors and temporary staff; that staff should not say that they work for the Home Office on Personal accounts; and that they should avoid commenting on politically controversial issues; commenting on the official government position; or giving personal opinions about the organisation.

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.

We've contacted the Home Office for comment. ®

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