ICE Briefly Becomes A Stranded Minor: Loses Its Twitter Account For Being Too Young

from the yeah,-but-only-briefly dept

Yesterday afternoon the Twitter account of the US’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) briefly disappeared from the internet. Was it… anti-conservative bias? Nope. Was it ICE doing more stupid shit in locking up children and separating them from their parents? Nope. Was it ICE’s willingness to seize domain names with no evidence, claiming “counterfeit”? Nope. It was that ICE had changed the “birthday” on its account to make it so that its “age” was less than 13. Thanks to the ridiculousness of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which has basically served only to have parents teach their kids it’s okay to lie online in order to use any internet service, most websites say you can’t use the service if you’re under 13 years old. ICE changed its “birthdate” to be less than 13, thereby making it… shall we say, something of a “stranded minor” and Twitter automatically, well, “separated it” from its account.

Might be nice for ICE to get a sense of how that feels.

Of course, what this really highlights is the idiocy of COPPA and how nearly every website tries to deal with its requirements. As we noted, Twitter, like many internet sites outright bars kids under 13 to avoid COPPA’s rules. Twitter does note in its forms that you need to put in your own date of birth, even if your account is “for your business, event, or even your cat.”

But… that’s bizarre. For accounts like this, whose birthday matters? Many such accounts are managed by multiple people. Whose birthday gets put in there? The answer is, of course, that a birthday is just made up. And, if you make it up, apparently you need to make up one that is older than 13 to avoid this COPPA-based “separation.”

Anyway, ICE figured stuff out and made a little joke about it:

Frankly, I’d rather they focused on actually helping asylum seekers find protection in our country rather than tossing them out, and maybe put some of that effort into reuniting the 666 kids back to the families they’ve lost track of.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: twitter

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “ICE Briefly Becomes A Stranded Minor: Loses Its Twitter Account For Being Too Young”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:


It’s one thing to separate a child from a parent in the custody of law enforcement.

It’s a whole other ballgame in a whole other city in a whole other goddamned country to separate a migrant child from a parent in the custody of law enforcement, give the kids to God-knows-who, lose track of the kids in the system (if they were even put in the system to begin with), send the parents back to their home country, and leave over five hundred children separated from their parents for God only knows how long (maybe even the rest of their lives).

If you can defend that practice without sounding like a sociopath with no ability to feel compassion or remorse, I’d certainly like to see you try.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Charlatan

Every city and county in the United States separates children from parents that have been arrested.

Not like this they do not. They do not separate them. They do not lose track of who they are. They do not lose track of their families.

And none of these people have been "arrested" they’re asylum seekers, you disgusting terrible human being. Go fuck yourself. Seriously, go fuck yourself, you piece of shit.

That One Guy (profile) says:

You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech...

‘Stay tuned here for more great news about the works that the men and women of ICE do every day to protect the homeland.’

I had no idea that Twitter was open to cross-dimensional posts, in this case Bizzaro world where ICE actually does that rather than just harass brown people.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech..

"Never did like that term, sounds too Nazi to me."

That’s because the term "Homeland" has always been the english dog whistle for the german term "Vaterland". After WW2 it really wasn’t a good idea for the US to import so very many of the more skilled nazis and give them high government posts. Some key parts of that culture stuck.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...