In an effort to shed some light on the perceived failings of a school in Brighton, Sussex, students have created a parody Twitter account that’s getting a lot of attention. Their school, Varndean College, has tried to force Twitter to shut down the account, but so far the company’s not budging. Is this a case of a prankster taking it too far, or a victory for freedom of expression?
The Argus reported today that Varndean College has been under fire in the social media space. Students had set up a Facebook page parodying the school and its lackluster administrative policies, which Varndean had successfully petitioned Facebook to remove.
But then the students moved on to Twitter, a bastion of free speech compared to Facebook, and it looks like their parody has found a more permanent home.
@Varndead, a zombie-inspired name for the parody account, has been posting tweets like:
“I hope this warmer weather doesn’t mean that the dead pets of our students that we keep under the Hutchins Wing start to smell.”
We can understand why this might make the target school less-than-happy, but we’re also quite please that Twitter refused to remove the account.
As Twitter’s policy clearly states that an account will remain up as long as it indicates that it is a parody – and not someone trying to trick people into believing it to be the real thing – we think the students running the account will have free reign to criticize their school to their heart’s content.
Check out the account and see if you think it’s funny or going too far, but we believe that freedom of speech has won in this situation. What do you think?