In the 6-second video clip, first posted to Amanda Thurston‘s Vine account, a camera pans around a group of students at a bazaar at the college. It features a caption reading, “Welcome to FAMU…I mean FSU. #monkeyseverywhere.” FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ) is a historically Black college.
The video spread to her Twitter and Facebook accounts, which were all deactivated.
Speaking with the Tallahassee Democrat last Friday, Thurston said someone broke into her social media accounts and posted the video. She also claimed to have filed a report with the FSU Police Department over the alleged hacking.
Though no suspects have been apprehended, assistant FSU chief Maj. Jim Russell confirmed Thurston’s report and “we have started investigating an unlawful access to a computer case.”
According to Russell, the possible hacking would constitute a second-degree felony. The department is also reaching out to the social media networks to locate where the hack may have originated.
“We’re working backward from that,” Russell said.
In the meantime, FSU officials released a statement on the incident last Thursday:
Late yesterday evening (9/4/2013) an inappropriate social media message regarding students at Florida State University and Florida A & M University was brought to the attention of the University. Florida State has zero tolerance for “racist speech,” no matter which medium is used to communicate the message.
Florida State University is proud to be a diverse community with a longstanding tradition of respect for the dignity and worth of each person. We expect each member of our community to embrace the values of civility and ethical conduct and demonstrate respect for others and ourselves.
If Thurston’s allegation is true, “then that person would be facing some serious charges,” Russell added.