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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola’s anonymous Twitter accounts stir drama


It all started with @Pain_Linnane and @LoyolaGrlProblm. Then last year the Facebook page Loyola Crushes was all the rage. Now, two other anonymous Twitter accounts have surfaced and it’s the latest trending topic on campus.

Unlike other social media crazes, this one has sparked a great deal of controversy and outrage. The two accounts, @HOUNDmakeouts and @houndsPASSOUTS retweet posts of follower’s “JUICIEST makeouts from the week” or students “who don’t quite make it to where they should” according the accounts’ descriptions. The @houndsPASSOUTS takes a slightly more humorous direction with some pictures of people asleep in the library or asleep elsewhere. However, the majority of that account’s content focuses on passing out in more precarious places such as floors and stairways of residence halls. Search the @HOUNDmakeouts handle and you’ll see the infamous posts and photos. However, the actual @HOUNDmakeouts has been deactivated while the @houndsPASSOUTS account is still active.

The response to these accounts has been widespread. Many students feel that these accounts are harmful and disrespectful. Most of the content is posted by a small cluster of students but reaches a larger audience due the quick turnover rate of social media.

Loyola’s Student Government Association has even stepped in to take on the situation. Junior Zachary Peters, director of public relations for SGA, said, “We are taking measures to mitigate the issue. We are currently in the process of reaching out and coordinating with other groups and organizations on campus to promote responsibility on social media. This includes an awareness campaign with events in the future.”

These anonymous accounts are an interesting peek into our generation’s use of the Internet. This carefree attitude surrounding posting photos and comments on social networks is the norm. We live in an image-obsessed culture and social media allows us to craft a projection of ourselves that can be changed at the click of mouse.

A recent study done by the Innovators Group, a marketing and public relations firm, surveyed a group of college students 18-22 years old and found that 100 percent of the students “actively participate on Facebook.” Also, 73 percent said that Facebook is “relevant to the personal lives of students.”

It’s common practice for millennial social media users to document their nights out across social networks. When it reaches the level of @HOUNDmakeouts or @houndsPASSOUTS, it becomes voyeuristic. The content is posted in jest, but exploits students and normalizes irresponsible behavior on social media.

Christina Spearman, director of Student Life and a Twitter-savvy social media user said, “Social media can be used in an appropriate and respectable way, but I think it requires some critical thinking. I think students are so accustomed to using social media, that they don’t often think about the implications of what they post.” Spearman also noted that these accounts “represent a small portion of the population [at Loyola].”

Junior Anna Currell echoed this. She said, “The anonymous Twitter accounts aren’t an accurate reflection of who we are as a student body…we define ourselves as a lot of other things which aren’t reflected in these twitter accounts, and it gives the wrong impression to students considering applying to our school, or even students already on our campus.”

But these accounts indicate a growing problem of how our generation views social media. We have all, at one point, carelessly uploaded a picture of a conspicuous red solo cup or showcased how much fun we had at Rally. It is important to remember that the point of social media is to share. No matter how rigid a privacy setting, that photo from Cat Night will make its way around.
“I also think students need to consider their initial behavior, and understand that in today’s world, our expectation of privacy is complicated by the ease in which people can share information,” Spearman said. “Their public behavior can become even more public on the Internet, so I think it’s important to be mindful of your actions and choices and make choices that are congruent with your values.”

So think before you tweet and ponder before you post because someone will see it. And remember, using no filter isn’t always the best choice.

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Loyola’s anonymous Twitter accounts stir drama