TSA employees flock to private Facebook group to demean passengers – Business Insider
TSA employees created a private Facebook group with 18,000 current and former employees where they used racist and crude language to criticize passengers, coworkers, and supervisors, NBC Washington reported.
The page appeared to be used as an outlet for stressed-out TSA agents to vent their experiences, but several posts discovered by NBC Washington showed agents wishing harm on passengers using racist language to describe foreign travelers.
The TSA told Insider that the page was not officially affiliated with the agency, but added that it was against the agency’s internal policies to post content online that may damage the TSA’s reputation.
The discovery of the Facebook group comes five months after a ProPublica investigation uncovered a private border patrol Facebook group where members trafficked in racist and sexist memes demeaning migrants and Democratic politicians.
Airport TSA agents have earned a notorious reputation for being upset and angry at work, but it turns out that curmudgeonly demeanor extends far beyond office hours.
That’s according to a new report from NBC Washington where journalists gained entry into a private 18,000 member Facebook group filled with current and former TSA employees called “TSA Breakroom.” The workers, according to NBC Washington, used the page to vent about “idiot” travelers and other stresses associated with maintaining airport security. Many of the posts, according to NBC Washington, veered past an innocent offloading of work complaints and allegedly used racist undertones to criticize passengers, coworkers, and managers.
“I hope your plane blows up”
Since news of the group became public, the page appears to have been made inaccessible. Anyone searching for TSA Breakroom on Facebook is now presented with an alert reading, “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.” Insider reached out to Facebook and asked whether or not the page had been removed but did not immediately receive a response.
Before the page became inaccessible, NBC Washington published multiple screenshots of messages from TSA employees laying into travelers. Some of those posts wished harm upon passengers.
“F—ing idiots of the world making my job harder,” one TSA employee wrote on the page. “I hope your plane blows up.”
Another post seen by NBC Washington was equally critical of passengers.
“How the f— do these passengers wake up and get themselves dressed in the morning and make it to the airport without getting themselves killed?” a TSA employee wrote. “Cause these people are pretty f—ing stupid.”
TSA employees active on the site confirmed to NBC Washington that the page was private and membership was reserved for those who work or had worked in the agency.
Other posts on the page derided TSA management for putting in place certain social guidelines and requiring that employees respect the gender identity of passengers.
“So given what we know about the definition of integrity, I would like to posit that the TSA/DHS is not truly worthy of the phrase integrity,” one disgruntled TSA employee wrote. “Why? By forcing its employees to go along with this ‘gender identity’ nonsense.” The employee continued: “Lying to yourself is one thing Lying (sic) to others is something else, but forcing others to lie, in order to perform their jobs, or to keep their jobs, is an altogether other evil.”
According to NBC Washington’s report, some of the messages and memes posted used racially insensitive undertones to demean foreign travelers, especially those of Chinese origin.
A spokesperson for the TSA confirmed the page’s existence but told Insider that TSA Breakroom, “is not affiliated with TSA,” and that the agency “does not monitor the site.” At the same time though, the TSA acknowledged that the agency’s internal rules advise against publishing the type of content seen on the page.
“The Code of Conduct for TSA employees provides that an employee’s off-duty internet use must not adversely reflect on TSA or negatively impact its mission, cause embarrassment to the agency, or cause the public and/or TSA to question the employee’s reliability, judgment, or trustworthiness,” the TSA said.
Border Patrol agents used a Facebook group to make racist and sexist comments about migrants, and Democratic politicians.
News of the controversial TSA group comes five months after the discovery of a private border patrol Facebook group where officers posted offensive jokes and memes about migrants and Democratic politicians. As first uncovered by ProPublica, border patrol agents posted photos of what appeared to be dead migrants and ridiculed the images.
One of these posts, captured in a screenshot by ProPublica, asked users, “have y’all ever seen floaters this clean,” above a photo of two migrants who appear to have drowned in a rive. In other posts, the Facebook page members created photoshopped images simulating New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being sexually assaulted by President Trump. Another investigation conducted by Reveal earlier this year found multiple examples of US law enforcement agents organizing on private Facebook pages espousing racist memes and conspiracy theories.
Facebook did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.