May 20, 2019

Editorial: Stop the mean memes

Come to The Journal newsroom any given day (especially Tuesday nights) and you’ll see students perusing the Internet, procrastinating. From YouTube videos to Rage Comics and Tetris, students across our campus spend more time than we’d like to admit on the Web.

This has become even more true in the past week, thanks to the Webster Memes page on Facebook. In class, in the cafeteria and in the residence halls, students have been talking about these posts.

The Journal finds most of these punch lines to be light-hearted and truly funny. The memes teasingly point out unique aspects of Webster life, from the pains of parking to certain cliques in schools and majors.

But after students began mentioning Webster administration may not be too pleased with these Internet caricatures, the posts seemed to change. The Facebook page was made secret. Memes didn’t seem so light-hearted.

Perhaps what surprised us at The Journal the most was how personal some posts were. Students were criticizing specific teachers and staff members. Some memes could be considered poor taste. We applaud the moderators for their diligence in monitoring the site and removing questionable content.

It’s great that Webster students can have fun with their education. And The Journal firmly supports freedom of speech for everyone, students included. But we feel it’s important that the Facebook page never take poking fun to the point of harming a person’s reputation.

We hope students will realize they are not under attack and ease out of what seems to be a defensive stance. We hope the moderators will continue to be conscious of potential harm.

But most of all, The Journal hopes the Facebook group will continue to make us laugh. After all, the memes do give us a reason to put off our papers for a little while longer.

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