Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Offensive Facebook memes just cost 10 students their spots at Harvard

The Harvard College arms sits atop a gate into Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts The Harvard College arms sits atop a gate into Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge Thomson Reuters
Stacy Diaz | 07 June, 2017, 03:52

Theses students exchanges memes mocking the Holocaust, sexual assault, deaths of children, and jokes specifically targeting ethnic and racial groups. Anonymously cited incoming freshman told The Crimson that the chat, once titled "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens", grew out of a larger pop culture meme-sharing group whose members connected via the undergraduate Harvard College's Class of 2021 Facebook page.

According to Harvard College spokesperson Rachael Dane, the university was not going to publicly comment on the admission status of individual applicants. Harvard reserves the right to withdraw its offers of acceptance if an "admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character." . Brown told GoLocal they do not actively monitor accounts, but there are certain standards that incoming students must abide by. The report also obtained a confession from one of the students whose acceptance letter was rescinded that they were asked first by the admissions office to explain their actions following the reports.

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said the university was wrong to rescind the admissions of several students who posted offensive messages on a private Facebook group.

Harvard University has s revoked the admission offers to at least 10 prospective freshmen over offensive online messages. Not only were the memes sexual in nature, but some of the messages in the private Facebook chat often targeted minority groups.

Last spring, The Crimson reported, some admitted members of the Class of 2020 traded jokes about race and mocked feminists, prompting two deans to condemn their actions. There's a prolific number of these college-centric meme groups, and members of one tend to join a handful in order to maximize the meme coverage.

As it turns out, just because they got into Harvard, doesn't mean they can't get kicked out.

While I'm passionate about defending freedom of speech, it doesn't take a Harvard degree to figure out that posting potentially illegal, and extremely hateful and obscene material is stupid, misguided and should rightfully result in a University response.