‘My personal vendetta is against Lancaster ducks’: An interview with @swearingatlancducks

‘It seems to have gathered a bit of a cult following’

Those of you keeping up with current Lancaster affairs on Instagram may have noticed a vigilante of sorts gaining some popularity amongst students by approaching ducks on campus, aiming a profane hand gesture at them, and then taking a photo of it. The vigilante in question is the admin of the Instagram account “Swearingatlancducks”.

Considering the almost deity-like status that the campus ducks seem to be given by students, it is impressive that an account solely dedicated to disrespecting them has gained 430 followers already, with plenty of Lancaster students eager to submit their own photos of them flipping off a poor, unsuspecting duck.

What could have caused the admin to start up this increasingly more prominent account? A traumatic experience involving a duck? An annoyance at the relatively worry-free lives that they lead? Pure mindless anarchy? This question and more can now be answered as we spoke to the @swearingatlancducks admin, hoping they could shed some light on everyone’s favourite Lancs-based anti-duck social media page.

‘It started as a duck refusing to leave me alone’

When asked why the page was started up, the admin revealed that they decided to create it as a duck refused to leave them alone “by the benches outside Sultan’s”.

Little did that duck know that they were about to become a part of history, as their pestering of the would-be admin gave them the idea and motivation to start an account purely dedicated to crushing the spirits of Lancaster ducks; originally intended “as a parody of the people who always take photos of the ducks around campus”. 

‘It seems to have gathered a bit of a cult following’

Regarding how popular the account has become, the admin stated that they just did it originally “for their own amusement” and was surprised at the notoriety the page gained.

The admin said: “I wasn’t sure how big it would become”, undoubtedly surprised at the hundreds of followers that they now have. It’s clearly something that numerous students have become attached to, as the account owner revealed that they “even had an individual message saying how the stupidity of the account helped brighten their days during the monotony of lockdown/exam prep”.

‘It’s more of a parody’

One of the main things we wanted to know was what the admin believed the ducks had done to deserve the abuse, they said the account was in fact intended as a parody “aimed at the people taking constant photos of the ducks as if they’re the best thing since sliced bread”.

They do harbour at least some resentment to the malicious activities of the ducks though, as it is apparently impossible “to eat on the Bonnington steps without being harassed by them”. 

‘Alexandra Park or the area outside Sultan’s’

When asked about their favourite spots to flip off a duck on campus, the admin said: “Anywhere that makes an interesting flip off shot will do”. The account itself demonstrates a wide variety of locations on campus where ducks have been insulted, with interesting spots including the pond near the sports centre and the “ducks crossing” sign near County College. 

‘My personal vendetta is against Lancaster ducks’

The question many might have wondered is whether the owner of the account planned to take this campaign and expand it, in the hopes of teaching all of duck-kind some humility. However, they stated that they only had a vendetta “against Lancaster ducks”, meaning that the rest of the UK’s duck population is safe… for now.

‘A couple people from back home follow the account’

While the ducks in question are strictly Lancaster-based, the fanbase ranges further, as a couple of the admin’s friends from home have followed the account and the admin noted that they “find the stupid nature of it amusing”.

As students from all universities, and young people in general, have had a particularly tough time trying to find things to amuse themselves during the pandemic, it is unsurprising that the page has reached a wider audience.

‘A lot of photos get sent in from followers’

A point of concern for fans of the account must be whether it will be able to run over the summer, with the admin being away from campus, but they were able to reassure us that enough content has been stored that posts can go up over the summer, many of them apparently sent in by followers in the hopes of being featured.

So rest assured that the ducks of Lancaster University will be kept in check in the holiday period.

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