Harvard canceled the remainder of its men’s soccer season, over explicit, sexual scouting reports the team had created for the women’s team. Some feel this is one more example of political correctness gone too far and question whether Harvard would have expelled Mark Zuckerberg over Facemash in the present climate.
This comparison is blunt. Similar concept. Same school. Though, the crudity is a significant difference. Facemash did let Harvard students rate each other’s attractiveness. It did not let users comment on the appropriate way to inseminate those students.
How would Harvard respond to FaceMash in 2016? It’s not clear. Though in 2003, Zuckerberg was put before a Harvard administrative board hearing that could have led to suspension or expulsion. His punishment, short of that, was not disclosed to the Crimson. Zuckerberg did face a backlash from campus minority and women’s groups. The board hearing was over his hacking and potential privacy violations, not explicitly over objectification of women.
Has the climate changed? Without question. More than 160 universities are under federal investigation for mishandling sexual assaults. Many of the prominent cases involve athletes. In 2016, such an incident at an athletic department comes under “immediate review” by the school’s general counsel and Title IX office.