The realm and control of social networking sights is something of an uncharted territory, be it in breaking those now famous celebrity super injuctions or as a platform for inspiring protest across the Middle East. Yet last week we saw the dark side of this public forum, enabling the drunken and uncontrolled prejudices of some of the most prominant sporting figures at York to be splayed publicly all over the internet. They were obscene and indefensible comments, and further evidence of the liberties taken by certain individuals on the team in the name of ‘banter’ and jovial lad behaviour.
An example needs to be made of the team in order to stop this alarming precedent in its tracks. To shrug it off as a joke taken too far is to simply condone their actions. There is no place for racism in our society today, be it in a passing comment or in an online twitter rant, and that needs to be made clear. While we applaud the Racial Equality Officers’ pushing for harsh disciplinary actionand a new overarching social code of conduct, we have to ensure the University itself doesn’t hasten to push the matter under the proverbial rug, letting the guilty students leave at the end of this year with simply a slap on the wrist. The internet may currently exist as an ungoverned sphere, but students must learn that all such actions, even those conducted online, have very real consequences.