At least 10 prospective members of Harvard’s Class of 2021 have had their admission revoked “after discovering the existence and contents of an explicit group chat,” reports the Harvard Crimson.
The invite-only messaging group, founded in late December, was reportedly titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” at one point. Screenshots obtained by the Crimson showed memes about the Holocaust, sexual assault, and the deaths of children — with one referring to the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child as “piñata time.”
In an odd parallel to the actual college admissions process, members were accepted to the dark meme messaging chat based on the merit of the meme they posted to the 100-member meme and popular culture sub-group of the official Class of 2021 Facebook group. The problem for the dark meme-rs was that the Administration Office had set up the Facebook group and thereby claimed dominion over any and all unofficial groups that popped up as a result.
“It is unfortunate that I have to reach out about this situation,” a stern and not-angry-but-disappointed email from the Admissions Office obtained by the Crimson stated. “As we understand you were among the members contributing such material to this chat, we are asking that you submit a statement by tomorrow at noon to explain your contributions and actions for discussion with the Admissions Committee.”
This is actually the second time in a row Harvard has dealt with incoming freshmen posting offensive messages on the internet. In an unofficial class GroupMe chat, some admitted members of the class of 2020 traded jokes about race and mocked feminists, prompting the Deans of Admission and the College to condemn their actions. The case of the splinter meme group, however, is the first instance of Harvard revoking acceptance for offensive materials.
Perhaps now the “horny bourgeois teens” will find a home in the most disreputable corners of the internet in the dark places of the digital sphere where such offensive meme-ing is encouraged, like 4chan.