AFSA Statement: Suspension of VOA's Steve Herman from Twitter

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2022
Contact: Executive Director Ásgeir Sigfússon |

Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association calls on Twitter to immediately reinstate the account of VOA News correspondent Steve Herman. Mr. Herman is a career member of the United States Foreign Service and a member of the AFSA Governing Board.

The members of America’s Foreign Service carry the example set by the United States as one of the most effective tools in their diplomatic toolkit. One of the pillars of that example is the exercise of, and respect for, free speech, as enshrined in the First Amendment. When America fails to respect its own values, our ability to positively inspire allies and adversaries around the world is diminished.

Mr. Herman appears to have been suspended from Twitter after engaging in reporting that is clearly an exercise of free speech rights. As one of the world’s largest social media platforms, Twitter can and must do better. AFSA hopes to see Mr. Herman’s account reinstated without delay. His reporting can be found at @w7voa.

AFSA, the voice of the Foreign Service, is the professional association and labor union of the U.S. Foreign Service. Founded in 1924, AFSA represents 31,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees at the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.