Students retaliate against parody Twitter accounts

Several anonymous Twitter accounts have caused a recent stir from students and administrators after some say the posts are racist and humiliating.

Anonymous accounts such @MurrayAsian, @MSUblackpeople and @MSUpartygirl are just a few of the Twitter handles anonymously tweeting discriminatory comments and relating them to the University.

Some tweets from @MurrayAsian mocked clothing or the student’s actions in public places such the Wellness Center or Winslow Dining Hall.

Monday afternoon approximately 15 international students met with administrators in Woods Hall to figure out how to handle their situation.

Students who attended the meeting did not want to be named for fear of retaliation, but several said they wanted an apology from the person behind the account or accounts.

Luis Canales, director for Institute for International Studies, spoke to the group and said International Studies is working hard to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for international students.

“Sites like the Twitter one are not making our Asian students feel welcomed or proud to be members of this learning community,” Canales said. “Word of mouth is powerful, and if students do not feel welcomed and share those feelings with other prospective students, it is entirely possible that they will not want to come to Murray.”

Bill McKibben, associate director of International Studies, said he found the Twitter accounts disturbing.

He told the students he hoped they could take their positive experiences and outweigh this negative one.

“That site does not reflect the majority of the people here at Murray State,” McKibben said. “In every country you have some good people and you have some bad people; they’re everywhere.”

Monday afternoon the University posted a status to its Facebook page stating the University does not condone any actions that are discriminatory, insensitive or offensive.

The status also stated the Twitter handles @MurrayAsian and @MSUblackpeople are not University accounts and do not represent the values and core mission of the school.

While one account has been deleted, several still remain open on Twitter.

The account @MurrayAsian was on the web for approximately a year before its removal Monday.

One student, Daneto Matally, sophomore from Owensboro, Ky., said the anonymous accounts should be shut down due to the bad reputation they are giving Murray State.

While the sites have not affected her personally, she said they are outrageous and disgusting. Matally, who is black, is especially concerned with accounts such as @MSUblackpeople.

“I don’t understand how anyone can find humor in these anonymous accounts targeted toward specific races, gender, and religion,” Matally said. “Sadly, it goes farther than the accounts. Every day I hear racist remarks concerning black, Asian and Arab students. Why is this? Aren’t we all Racers?”

She said if someone is going to have freedom of speech, they should own up to it.

“Do not hide behind anonymous accounts and target others,” Matally said. “There is only one word to describe those who feel the need to create offensive accounts: coward.”

 Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor.