Harvard Rescinds Acceptance for Students Who Posted Offensive Memes on Facebook
Jun 08 2017
"The bounds of what is offensive have been extended and distorted, and I no longer trust the bent judgment of politically correct enforcers". The memes were sexually explicit and sometimes targeted minority groups. When the university discovered the content, it rescinded their admission. But that's the wrong way to look at the controversy.
"I'm happy to see that the institution is doing everything in its power to ensure that students on campus are safe and not surrounded by individuals who perpetuate and promote violence", she said.
Some from the 1,100 students who had been accepted into the prestigious educational institution previous year too had created such a controversy, sharing offensive and racist content on exclusive but unofficial groups created just by them.
Nancy Beane is the president of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling and a college counselor for 25 years. There are many considerations, including that of judgment, character, and ethics, and sharing puerile and offensive posts is generally not the path to the Ivy League.
Then, university officials caught on.
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A handful of people admitted forming the Messenger group late last December, after they met through the much larger official Harvard College Class of 2021 Facebook group. The memes were graphic and extremely offensive to numerous groups of people, which are something that Harvard administrators would not let go unnoticed. But they did show a marked lack of judgment.
As reported by the Crimson and allegedly reproduced by the Tab, the memes include a variety of offensive and inflammatory subjects, ranging from Holocaust jokes and racist descriptions of Mexicans, Middle Eastern children, and illegal immigrants, to jokes about death, bestiality, pedophilia, and child abuse.
The incident raises the issue of whether a school should be policing a private interaction in which no one was actually hurt or endangered. Shouts of "But free speech!" are often heard when a politically charged action receives public backlash.
Censorship, this is not. You might even be your squad's self-proclaimed Meme Queen or Meme Librarian but maybe you should start thinking twice over which memes you actually share in your private chats because you never know where they might end up.