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Abilene Christian University investigating alleged harassing 'tweets,' seeks account users

Published On: Sep 28 2012 12:02:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 28 2012 08:03:40 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene Christian University is seeking help in determining who has allegedly been sending harassing Twitter feeds targeting social clubs, criticizing specific people and making racial comments.

This morning, the university – through its @ACUedu account on Twitter – urged followers in three tweets to provide information on those associated with three Twitter accounts: @ACUSleaze, @GossipGirl_ABL and @ACUGossipboy.

The ACU tweets urged those who “have accurate info about this ID” to visit ACU’s website and email harassment@acu.edu.

While the university isn’t immediately commenting on its investigation, a story in ACU’s student newspaper – The Optimist – said Twitter feeds from the yet-to-be-found student or students has “sparked immediate reaction from students, faculty, staff and administration. Some of the posts were vulgar and others named specific students.”

According to The Optimist, Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president for student life and dean of students, said ACU is actively working to learn those behind the accounts because of “the offensive nature of the tweets.”

“We’re very much aware of the accounts, and we’re disturbed by the inappropriate nature of the messages,” Thompson told the newspaper. “The accounts are not in line with what we expect of our students. We are doing our best to track down the individuals behind them and to protect those targeted.”

Thompson told The Optimist that the aggressive nature of some of the tweets violate the university’s Student Handbook, which prohibits any forms of harassment of students, and that the sexually and racially motivated remarks don’t reflect the character of the university. In addition, false posts that injure someone’s reputation can open Twitter users to libel claims.

According to The Optimist, the ACU Police Department isn’t involved in the investigation.