Online Tweet-Monitoring Reveals Widespread Anti-TSA Sentiments


Jurriaan Maessen
January 6, 2013

Patrick Seitz, a technology business journalist, has for one full year evaluated traffic on Twitter, monitoring people’s experiences with the TSA. The results of his monitoring endeavors, aggregated from December 18 2011 to December 18 2012, have revealed no less than 23.000 complaints about the TSA, varying from racial profiling to vandalism, theft, confiscation of harmless personal products and other infringements.

Seitz’s online sampling independently confirms countless other reports by people across the United States, who have reported on the TSA’s handling of the task of safeguarding airport security after 9/11.

Exactly one year after he started his investigation, Seitz broke down in some detail the results which he collected on his Twitter account TSA Rants:

“Over the past 12 months, I’ve documented more than 23,000 complaints about the TSA. And that barely scratches the surface.”

As Seitz points out, his collection of tweets makes out the tip of the iceberg, as his monitoring was limited to a few hours a day:

“I sampled just a few hours of Twitter traffic a day, when my schedule allowed. The actual number of TSA complaints on Twitter is easily several times higher than that.”


In his evaluation, Seitz discerns the complains, collecting them into several categories:

A complaint heard often is TSA employees’ molesting and otherwise physically attacking attractive women. Here’s just some of the comments describing the behavior of TSA personnel:

“Hey TSA guys, wanna not hit on me? Thanks.”

“The TSA Agent just spent so much time patting me down that I feel like we are in a relationship now.”

“That TSA officer was unnecessarily frisky. I’m fairly certain I saw a ring on HER finger.”

“Did the TSA really have to squeeze my bun tho?”

“Missed my flight by 2 minutes!! But I did get to 2nd base with a TSA agent ;)”

The list of TSA-misdoings literally goes on forever. All familiar aspects of the TSA’s infringing upon elementary rights are covered extensively, such as the aggressive pat-downs, the theft and destruction of passenger items, the overall incompetence, the mistreating of the elderly and infirm. The most disturbing thing is, that Seitz only took an extremely rudimentary sample, albeit for a full year, pointing to widespread abuses by TSA personnel- and, by extension, a widespread distrust by the general public.


4 responses to “Online Tweet-Monitoring Reveals Widespread Anti-TSA Sentiments

  1. It makes you think of Nazi officers, really, of their arrogance and manhandling of innocent people. I’m quite curious what will happen when this gets to my country (it will eventually spread everywhere, like the plague), as no straight man I know would allow a hand down his trousers. I’d never set foot in the US; just reading about what goes on there is so chilling. And knowing it’s a template for the whole world to be moulded into is much worse. The UK is already on a par with the US where surveillance is concerned.

  2. just wait until they start fondling your NUTS and BUSHES on the street corners. its coming! uncle sam has to find jobs for all those perverts.

  3. The TSA is an out-of-control, criminal agency that abuses people with impunity. The more it and its army of thugs are exposed, the better.

  4. We all know full well what the TSA does. I’ve driven so much more these past several years just to avoid the TSA, thousands of miles that I would have paid for airline service, and I’m not the only one. Every time I fly I have a new story to tell about the TSA rats I had to deal with, and yes, I am female and ALWAYS “randomly” chosen for the grope’n’feel. I have never once gone through the metal detector (like 3/4ths of the people in line do) and not been singled out by the always male TSA. Then when you opt out of the scanner, they openly sneer at you, make comments about *their* inconvenience, and often want you to sit in some obviously public place to wait, as if they’re showing you off to the other passengers in line, “don’t be this gal, just go through the scanner like good children, so we can laugh at your naked scan behind that wall over there.” They’re always shocked when I refuse to sit like the petulant child is made to and MAKE them get a female for the frisking when they’ve failed to call for one (they always make you wait as punishment for not cooperating), as well as DEMAND they not leave my carry on luggage out where anyone could get at it. One told me “we have security cameras for that,” and she didn’t much like my response that “cameras only record theft, they don’t stop it from happening. I’m not leaving it here, so please pick up my backpack.” Then they get SUPER excited when you move to gather up your own things when they’ve refused to be your bag person, as if they’ve suddenly realized your serious about not leaving your things out with a “ROB ME” sign.

    Agents are routinely vindictive against random people all around me, I’ve seen grandmothers pulled briskly from wheelchairs and made to stumble through the machines, orca sized TSA employees on power trips larger than their own bodies. I’m only one person who flew twice a year averaged, and the list goes on.

    I honestly don’t understand why we can’t have real, respectable security measures in place. The TSA is an absolute mess which does nothing but violate peoples rights and makes us even less attractive to tourists. The rest of the worlds tourism is shooting upward, and we’ve got something like less than 2% of that. Do we think the TSA isn’t part of the reason? The world hears about them the same as Americans do. Why fly all the way over an ocean just to be treated like garbage?

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