Harvard Rescinds Acceptances of 10 Students for Sharing Obscene Memes on Facebook

Here's another reminder to be careful what you do online.
Harvard Rescinds Acceptances of 10 Students for Sharing Obscene Memes on Facebook
Image credit: Pgiam | Getty Images

Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.
2 min read

In today’s connected world, it’s important to be cautious of what you’re doing on social media. Some students learned that the hard way. In April, the acceptance of 10 incoming Harvard students was rescinded because of their involvement in obscene online behavior.

Prospective Harvard Class of 2021 students were caught exchanging obscene content in a small Facebook group, which was revealed in the school’s student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. The group, which at one point was labeled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,” was sharing content that made fun of touchy subjects such as , the Holocaust and more.

Related: How to Change Your Poor Personal Reputation at Work

The paper reported on Sunday: "In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child 'piñata time.'"

While the current Harvard acceptance rate is 5.2 percent -- you’d think these students might have acted smarter about their online image. However, incoming student Cassandra Luca (who was not a part of the niche “dark” group) told The Crimson, “This was a just-because-we-got-into-Harvard-doesn’t-mean-we-can’t-have-fun kind of thing.”

The small group originally sparked from the general Harvard Class of 2021 Facebook page, where new students could become acquainted before the fall. To become a member of the small R-rated chat group, students would have to post an inappropriate meme to the original Facebook page to prove worthiness.

Harvard admissions officers asked students via email to disclose content they shared with the group, according to a member of the group who spoke with The Crimson and whose admission offer was revoked.

Related: 6 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation

This case is another reminder that everything we do online can have consequences.

“Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity or moral character,” the school wrote in the description of the official Class of 2021 Facebook page.

More from Entrepreneur

We created the SYOB course to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. You can now sign up for just $99, plus receive a 7-day free trial. Just use promo code SYOB99 to claim your offer.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur