Exterior of Harvard University (Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Trying to one-up each other with memes has turned out poorly for a group of recently admitted Harvard students, who had their acceptance offers withdrawn by the Ivy League school. According to The Crimson, this all began in a general Facebook group for Harvard students, where a bunch of meme-loving students joined together to create an offshoot dedicated to posting photos with captions in place of, you know, communicating. When that group’s memes proved to be not quite dank enough, a bunch of students splintered off into a private Facebook group chat, where they reportedly posted more obscene memes. Thus, the “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” group was born, with acceptance into its hallowed, digital halls requiring that prospective members post something “borderline offensive” in the original meme group so that these wannabe provocateurs would know that you were down, we guess.

The Harvard administration somehow caught wind of the content, which The Crimson reports included “images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat.” “Horny bourgeois teen” chat members also “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.” The college maintains responsibility for even the “unofficial groups” that spin off from the sanctioned one; they’re covered in the school’s policy about Facebook groups, which includes a reminder that “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.”


School officials reached out to the students for an explanation of their memes, which must not have gone over that well, because Harvard ended up rescinding acceptance offers to 10 students (so far). Opinions on the decision vary, with some students telling The Crimson they don’t believe any internet activity that’s unaffiliated with the university should be monitored, let alone result in a rejection from the school, while others think Harvard acted accordingly. But they’ll all probably be a bit wary of group chat invitations going forward.

[via New York Magazine]