Harvard Rescinds Acceptances of 10 Students for Sharing Obscene Memes on Facebook Here's another reminder to be careful what you do online.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Pgiam | Getty Images

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 In April, the acceptance of 10 incoming Harvard students was rescinded because of their involvement in obscene online behavior.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 sexual harassment, 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they shared with the group, according to a member of the group who spoke with The Crimson and whose admission offer was revoked.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.

Wavy Line
Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

California Woman Arrested For $60 Million Postal Service Scam

Lijuan "Angela" Chen faces two charges that each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Real Estate

Few Industries Are Better for First-Time Investors Than Real Estate. Here Are 4 Proven Ways to Make a Profit.

It's hard to overlook real estate's obvious advantages when it comes to investing. If you're venturing into this investment for the first time, here are some strategies to be the smartest investor that you can be.

Science & Technology

Is AI Killing Our Work Ethic and Purpose? A Balanced Perspective on Harnessing the Full Potential of Generative AI

Despite its popularity, human expertise and judgment remain essential in leveraging the complete potential of generative AI.

Business News

A Wegmans Employee Allegedly Stole Over $500,000 from the Company

Alicia Torres pleaded guilty to crimes carried out over nine years while working at Wegmans in Webster, New York.

Starting a Business

Ask Marc | Free Business Advice Session with the Co-Founder of Netflix

Get free business advice during our next Ask Marc, live Q&A, on 6/21/23 at 3 p.m. EDT. You don't want to miss it—send in your questions now.