Exeter University reports student Facebook page to police over links to ‘Nazi propaganda’

The University of Exeter has reported a student confession page to the police following accusations that racist content and “Nazi propaganda” were published online.   

Students criticised the posts on the “ExeHonestly” Facebook page after claiming they had white supremacist origins.

The university has reported the posts on the site, which is followed by thousands of students, to the Police Hate Crime Unit.

One post, which was circulated on Twitter, offered sweets to those who could answer the riddle: “What accounts for 13 per cent, yet 52 per cent?”

Students said it referred to a statistic circulated by white supremacist online communities who claim that “despite making up only 13 percent of the population, blacks make up 52 per cent of crimes”.

Another post read: “People’s favourite number? Mine’s 1488”. The number is a combination of digits popularly used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

The 14 refers to the “14 Words” of a white supremacist slogan and “88” refers to “Heil Hitler” as H is the eighth letter in the alphabet.

Exeter’s Jewish Society said it was “appalled” by the recent posts on ExeHonestly.

They told The Tab student newspaper: “Whilst we champion free speech and see a great value in it, there is no space for Jewish students, or indeed any students at any university to feel uncomfortable or scared due to their religious, racial or ethnic background.

“We praise the university for taking action, bringing a problem to the attention of students.”

A University of Exeter spokesperson said: “ExeHonestly is an anonymous Facebook page open to anyone to post content and operated by anonymous administrators.

“We have deep concerns about the content these administrators post that affect our community and we urge our students not to use it.

“We have reported our concerns about the site to Facebook, and now escalated matters to the Police Hate Crime Unit and will work with them to identify those responsible.

“If we obtain specific information about any of our students posting abusive or offensive content we will take immediate and appropriate action.”

The admin team of ExeHonestly said it removed the posts from the Facebook page as soon as it became aware of the “hidden meaning” behind them.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

A post on the Facebook site said: “We deeply regret that they cleared our attempts at scrutiny and have made people feel unsafe.

“However, we do hope that people understand that the nature of dog-whistle posts is that the true meaning is not apparent to people unless they have specialised knowledge – if we were aware of their true meaning, they would have not been posted.”

Administrators added they were disappointed that people chose to screenshot the posts on Twitter before alerting them to the posts’ “true meanings”

Source link