We spoke to Exeter students about ExeHonestly, and here’s what they had to say
‘If students publish Nazi propaganda given their anonymity, it’s time to take a look at the community’
It's safe to say there's been mixed reactions to the ExeHonestly scandal.
Students called for ExeHonestly to be closed down after discovering posts had Neo-Nazi and white supremacist origins. This prompted the University to report the page to Facebook, and escalate accusations to the Police Hate Crime Unit.
The admins made the decision to shut down the page.
However there are conflicting views on the situation: 91 per cent of people who took part in a poll on The Tab Exeter's Instagram story answered no when asked if the page should be shut down. Students have even gone as far as to writing an open letter to the University about their positive experiences of the site.
We spoke to students on campus and asked their opinions on ExeHonestly. Here's what they had to say:
Pauline, Second Year, Drama
"I refuse to believe that the university is a cold entity that isn’t approachable. I question the way the university handled it, refusing to approach the opposite party and refusing to understand their need for anonymity.
"ExeHonestly tried to create something good. They are allowed to make mistakes and they are allowed a chance to fix it. I believe the university has spoiled a potentially successful collaboration."
Zosia, Second Year, Drama
"It really reflects the students, not the page itself. If students publish Nazi propaganda given their anonymity, it’s time to take a look at the community"
Catherine, Second Year, Spanish and Geography
"The admins are not to blame for the situation, and I admire their choice to step away from the page. I think the university and student body have to work a lot harder to combat racism and discrimination."
Anon, Second Year
"Gonna miss being validated by anonymous posts about my arse."
Luis, First Year, Engineering
"People are hiding in anonymity when they are saying positive stuff, it really shows some creepy cowardice on their behalf. If you really have something good to say about someone you shouldn’t be afraid to tell them and actually be held accountable."
Josh, Third Year, Mathematics
"I think following the posts that ultimately caused to page to be taken down, it’s completely fair that it has been taken down. Nobody at this university should be subject to feeling ostracised as a result of a post about their race or religion etc."
Mac, First Year, English Literature and Drama
"In my view the page should have been shut down due to the severity and seriousness associated with the aforementioned posts.
"It’s a shame as a fresher, as it’s a legacy that has ended before it even had a chance to begin for us, but like in Gossip Girl, I guess it tore apart more than it may have intended."
Georgia, Second Year, Archaeology with Forensic Science
"I think that it’s really unfair that a page that has done more good than bad is being shut down for a mistake that the university has previously made.
"I feel like had the university cooperated with ExeHonestly in regards to this situation, a much better collaboration would have been able to come about for the students."
Stella, First Year, Drama
"I think it seems like the university are choosing something quite small to take action against whilst there are much more deep seated problems in the uni like the very white curriculums etc. But also every little counts and I do understand why they shut it down – I'm conflicted.'
Theo, Third Year, Economics
"I find it highly amusing that the university has shut down a simple confessions page for accidentally posting a piece of propaganda which wasn't widely known to be pro Nazi, and yet sent out a Rommel quotation to students."
Suzie, Second Year, English Literature and Drama
"I think it’s really sad and also silly that the admins are being penalised for not recognising an obscure Nazi thing – like how were they supposed to know what that is?"
Anon, Third Year
"I am a BAME Equality Panellist this year and I encourage people to reach out to their representatives so we can do our best to support the voices of marginalised students on campus. This is in the early stages, so information should be readily available soon. "
Sabrina, Second Year, Drama
"Like with most (hate) crimes, you would spot out the individuals who have made the mess, not those who haven’t, it’s unfair that a handful of people have ruined it for the thousands who enjoyed the light hearted side of both pages."
Joe, Second Year, Philosophy
"The impact on their mental health and generally the sheer commitment to the upkeep of a platform that was only ever supposed to be a bit of bant – it's not worth it!"
Sarah, First Year, History
"It’s a farce honestly- the uni deciding that a few fringe idiots are worth getting rid of a forum that was doing work for them for no pay."
Izzy, Second Year, Drama
"I think it’s really sad because ExeHonestly created a sort of community, so I actually felt connected with the rest of the uni and what was going on. But if the admins were struggling with their mental health because of it then closing the page was definitely the right decision."
Exeter Student Nightline have issued a statement in response to ExeHonestly being shut down:
"ExeHonestly was a platform many students used for a range of anonymous confessions, but importantly to us, it was a platform some students used to disclose mental health issues and to find support.
"Nightline offers a confidential, anonymous listening and signposting service and is open from 8pm to 8am. You can send us an Instant Message through our website or call us" on 01392 724000.