Specialist says ignore offenders
Social media sites such as Twitter are allowing for a new platform to promote hateful or negative stereotypes that are affecting groups on campus.
Victoria Loong, sophomore in the College of Health and Human Sciences and Liberal Arts and president of the Asian Student Union Board, was upset to read the offensive tweets published by “Purdue Asians” (@OrientalSwag), which attacks students of Asian descent with negative stereotypes and jokes.
“My first reaction was anger,” Loong said. “I’m just shocked at how it’s so okay to say those things in such a public setting.”
Although the page was made a topic of discussion for the board, Loong said not many people were surprised because most members experience similar attacks regularly.
Many tweets posted derogatory remarks about physical features or the language of students, and others complained about noises in the library.
“I understand that, similar to memes, Twitter is an outlet for opinions,” Loong said. “But when they personally attack someone or are harmful, I think that’s when they cross the line.”
Purdue’s sororities have also been parodied online, by “Greek Bitch” (@PurdueFratRat), which impersonates a Purdue sorority member.
“Just your typical sorority girl,” states the account’s biography. “Living the good life filled with beer and booze in West LaLa. Meanwhile trying to figure out what happened last night.”
Katie Lansing, president of Purdue’s Panhellenic Council, was unavailable to comment on the subject.
Christy Jones, a digital marketing specialist at Purdue, said there is not much Purdue can do to help those offended by Twitter feeds, as they are protected under Twitter’s regulations. However, if an account is pretending to be Purdue and using the University’s logos, the site can be taken down.
In the case of offensive sites, Jones recommended students ignore the posts.
“These accounts are just feeding off of attention,” Jones said. “If you’re offended, you should encourage people to stop paying attention to them, retweeting or following them. If they don’t get any attention, they’ll probably just stop.”
In regards to those creating and following offensive accounts, Jones said students should consider the effects posting online can have, which extend long after something has been posted.
“Even if you’re just following one of these sites and not running them, people can still see who you follow and retweet,” Jones said. “That can reflect poorly on your character, especially since companies are now using social media to investigate potential employees.”