Clemson University: Racist social media post's author was 'fake' student

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  • June 8, 2020
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Clemson University announced this morning that a social media account posting racist and derogatory content and claiming to be an incoming Clemson University student, is owned by someone who is not associated with the university. The Instagram account under the name “Connor Blackmon” garnered attention over the weekend for posting a slew of racist, derogatory, and divisive content, referencing violent acts of racism, hate speech and the Sandy Hook school shooting. One of the account’s post stated that the account owner was recently admitted to Clemson University, and would be attending this fall as a member of the class of 2024. Clemson University launched an investigation and found that there is no one under the name Connor Blackmon who is currently admitted or previously enrolled at Clemson University, and deemed the account fake. “It became apparent that this Connor Blackmon was not a real individual, or wasn’t a student engaged with the university,” said Joe Galbraith with Clemson University Communications. The university then asked two professors who are national experts in monitoring and identifying online activity to analyze the account. Due to irrational posting patterns, references to non-existent relationships with real people, and an overall sense of anonymity outside of the false name, the professors deemed the account “fake.””It was very clearly a fake account. Patrick and I were used to looking at professionals. The sort of work the Russians and the Chinese and the Iranians do and this definitely, definitely wasn’t that,” said Darren Linvill, associate professor of communications. “It seemed to be a one off person who was engaged in some activity that was over their heads and was ugly and divisive and clearly painted Clemson unfortunately in a bad light.”The university is still investigating one other instance of racially charged social media posting allegedly made by a Clemson University student since George Floyd’s death on May 25.

Clemson University announced this morning that a social media account posting racist and derogatory content and claiming to be an incoming Clemson University student, is owned by someone who is not associated with the university.

The Instagram account under the name “Connor Blackmon” garnered attention over the weekend for posting a slew of racist, derogatory, and divisive content, referencing violent acts of racism, hate speech and the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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One of the account’s post stated that the account owner was recently admitted to Clemson University, and would be attending this fall as a member of the class of 2024.

Clemson University launched an investigation and found that there is no one under the name Connor Blackmon who is currently admitted or previously enrolled at Clemson University, and deemed the account fake.

“It became apparent that this Connor Blackmon was not a real individual, or wasn’t a student engaged with the university,” said Joe Galbraith with Clemson University Communications.

The university then asked two professors who are national experts in monitoring and identifying online activity to analyze the account. Due to irrational posting patterns, references to non-existent relationships with real people, and an overall sense of anonymity outside of the false name, the professors deemed the account “fake.”

“It was very clearly a fake account. Patrick and I were used to looking at professionals. The sort of work the Russians and the Chinese and the Iranians do and this definitely, definitely wasn’t that,” said Darren Linvill, associate professor of communications. “It seemed to be a one off person who was engaged in some activity that was over their heads and was ugly and divisive and clearly painted Clemson unfortunately in a bad light.”

The university is still investigating one other instance of racially charged social media posting allegedly made by a Clemson University student since George Floyd’s death on May 25.

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