Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
The image of an email from Harvard saying it “terminated” a student because of their social media accounts is fake.
An image of a fake email saying that Harvard "terminated" a student because of their social media accounts has been circulating online.
The email is purportedly from Harvard College’s Office of Undergraduate Education and reads:
It is with a heavy heart we inform you that you are being terminated from Harvard. This comes as a result of speculating your social media accounts and we believe that you do not transmit a good representation of the school. We wish you well in any future endeavors.
The image then cuts off above the signature.
The email in the image has a header from Harvard’s Office of Undergraduate Education. That office does not handle expulsions; it is responsible for administering the undergraduate curriculum.
"The Administrative Board, the Honor Council, and the Residential deans all govern student conduct," Dane said in an email with PolitiFact. "Social media isn’t relevant. If a student were harassing others, or in violation of a rule in the handbook, the relevant offices would govern."
The Harvard College Student Handbook does not limit what a student can or cannot do on social media. However, the handbook says expulsions could result from violating Harvard’s rules on academic integrity or from disciplinary action following a failure to adhere to their policies on issues including harassment, physical violence, and discrimination.
The expulsion of Harvard students isn’t often publicized, but there have been highly publicized instances where Harvard has revoked admission from incoming students because of posts circulating on social media.
In 2019, Harvard rescinded admission from Kyle Kashuv, gun advocate and survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Fla., school shooting after past evidence of him using racial slurs surfaced online.
Kashuv posted screenshots on Twitter of his emails with Harvard’s admission office after the school revoked his admission.
In one email, Harvard’s admissions office said it reserves the right to revoke admission from incoming students "if you engage or have engaged in behavior that brings into question your honesty, maturity, or moral character."
An email claimed that Harvard "terminated" a student because of their social media accounts.
The university told news agencies that the email was fake.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Reuters, Fact Check-Harvard ‘termination’ letter is fake, Aug. 13, 2021
Associated Press, Harvard email saying student is ‘terminated’ is fake, Aug. 13, 2021
A Twitter post
Inside Higher Ed, Harvard rescinds admissions offer over applicant's past racist writings, June 24, 2019
The Harvard Crimson, Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students for Obscene Memes | New, June 5, 2017
The Harvard Crimson, Racially-Charged Messages Spark Controversy in Admitted Students Group Chat | News, April 5, 2016
Email interview with Rachael Dane, spokesperson for Harvard, Aug, 17, 2021
The Huffington Post, Parkland Teen Kyle Kashuv, Former Turning Point USA Member, Apologizes For Racist Slurs, June 18, 2019
Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Education, About Us, accessed Aug. 18, 2021
Harvard College 2021-22 Harvard College Student Handbook, accessed Aug. 18, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.