Microsoft Helps With Investigation On UPenn Racist Text MessagesBy Emily Marks
Microsoft has helped with the investigation on hateful and racist text messages sent to black students at the University of Pennsylvania last week. Several freshmen were added to a GroupMe message named "Mud Men." They were bombarded with racial slurs and graphic images with racially explicit content.
A member of the group posted a photo of lynchings with the caption, "I love America." The same individual also posted an event into the message called "Daily lynching."
The University of Pennsylvania has released a statement on Twitter revealing that the GroupMe account "appears to be based in Oklahoma." Police and information security staff are already working to find the exact location of the account.
The Guardian reported that Microsoft is helping UPenn with the investigation. The racist text messages were sent using the company's GroupMe chat app. The company has announced that it would suspend the accounts responsible.
"As soon as we became aware of the chats taking place on GroupMe, which violated our terms of service, we took action and removed the chats," a spokesperson for Microsoft told the publication. "We're investigating to determine which user accounts will be suspended."
The University of Pennsylvania has also partnered with FBI to investigate the incident. It was found that three people from Oklahoma may have been responsible for the hateful act, one of whom was a student at the University of Oklahoma.
"The University of Oklahoma has made it clear that we will not tolerate racism or hate speech that constitutes a threat to our campus or others," University of Oklahoma president David L. Boren said in a statement. "We have a record of taking swift action once all of the facts are known."
The surge of hostile acts against minority students came after Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidential Election 2016. Muslim, Latino and black students in different universities have been targeted for their race or religious beliefs by supporters of the president-elect.