Harvard withdraws acceptances over social media messages

The Ivy League university rescinded acceptance for 10 incoming students who allegedly posted offensive messages on social media.
4:04 | 06/06/17

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Transcript for Harvard withdraws acceptances over social media messages
We are back with that college admissions bombshell. Harvard university rescinding acceptance for ten incoming students after they reportedly posted offensive messages on social media. ABC's Adrienne Bankert is outside the campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the latest. Good morning, Adrienne. Reporter: Good morning to you, Amy. Yes, ten of about 2,000 elite students who fulfilled their dreams of being admitted to Harvard are now being told their futures at the school are over before even starting. Harvard is renown for accepting only the best and brightest. But this morning, the dark side of an online student chat room started by some incoming freshmen has caused administrators to revoke their admissions. The university's own paper reports a group of ten students accepted to the class of 2021 and meeting on the college's official Facebook page created an alternative page full of memes containing provocative and derogatory images and captions. The content too offensive to show with r-rated memes poking fun at topics like the holocaust, sexual assault and targeting ethnic groups. One allegedly calling the fictional hanging of a Mexican child, pinata time. "The crimson" reporting incoming students who wanted to join the chat had to post something offensive in another group dedicated to mostly light-hearted memes. Wyatt hurt is one of the newly admitted freshmen. I haven't heard any dissent on people saying this was the wrong thing to go. It's definitely reassuring that as Harvard as a society stand by the moral values that we were built on. Reporter: Harvard admissions even posting on the class of 2021's Facebook group description that they have the right to withdraw an offer of admission if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity or moral character. Now, we do have to tell you many here including students at Harvard support the school's decision to revoke those admissions, but some proponents of free speech are criticizing the school for punishing those on the chat room who posted what they did on their own time. Amy. All right, Adrienne, thank you. Let'bring in senior legal correspondent sunny Hostin and no question, Harvard has the right to rescind these admissions, correct. Absolutely, I mean, we just heard under their admission policy it clearly says that they reserve the right to withdraw that offer based on honesty, maturity or moral character. And that brings into question the moral character of these kids. Right, but what about the free speech argument? That is the argument, listen, they have every right to have posted this, to have said what they said, but Harvard also has the right to impose consequences on what they said. That is just the law. They can say whatever they want but they have to suffer the consequences. You're a mother. I'm a mother. You start to think, oh, no, what do you say to your kids about what's appropriate and how much do you monitor this? I often tell my son, once you press send, it is out there. You have no control. People -- you may think it's a private conversation, people can screen shot it. They can use it. And if you think about it, 350 admissions officers were surveyed. 35% of them say they use social media as a tool for acceptance. They look at everything. Employers look at everything. I showed my son this last night and he said, oh, my goodness. They're now not going to Harvard. They now are not going to go to Harvard. Or good luck with getting into any school cwith that on their history. These are also people looking for jobs, we've got some of our kids have been in social media their whole lives and don't realize the impact this will have. Employers look at it. If you are already employed your employer can fire you for something like this. They can prevent you from being employed for something like this. We really need to get back to a time of civility and need to be careful what we're posting and putting out there in social media literacy should be taught. Michael, over to you. Coming up on our big board,

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