The prestigious and storied Harvard University, one of America's Ivy League colleges, had to withdraw at least 10 acceptance offers because of offensive memes that were discovered in a private Facebook group chat among students. An article in the school newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, that was published last weekend, revealed the nasty direction that a 2021 class Facebook group took in the form of private group chat.

The story behind the offensive memes

The backstory to these offensive memes started when around one hundred members of Harvard University's future freshman class started connecting with each other via the school's official Class of 2021 Facebook group.

This led to the creation of a messaging group where the future students could share memes about popular trends. However, at some point, certain members in this group formed a smaller spin-off group.

This group was formed to specifically share obscene and offensive R-rated memes. The members of this spin-off group set up an initiation process in which students had to post provocative memes into the larger Facebook group to get into the smaller messaging group. The memes, images and messages in the group talked about a variety of subjects like the Holocaust, children dying, jokes about racial/ethnic groups, and sexual assault.

How did Harvard respond?

At some point in the middle of April, university officials at Harvard were made aware of the messaging group and its offensive memes after administrators caught on to the exchanges going on in the Facebook group.

This led to at least ten of the incoming students who were involved in the offensive chat getting letters from the school telling them that their admission to Harvard had been rescinded.

However, the Harvard Crimson article gave some extra, behind-the-scenes details. In the article, it said that representatives from the admissions office sent out an email to the implicated students asking them to disclose every picture they had sent in the messaging group.

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For anyone able to get into the school, that in and of itself is notable, since Harvard is notoriously hard to get into. This spring Harvard had a record number of applicants (39,506), with only about 0.5% (2,056) actually being given the honor of being accepted into the school. Of these select few, roughly 84% decided to attend. However, for the students that had their acceptance revoked, they will likely have to attend school elsewhere.