University again restricts twitter

Twitter trends are but fleeting at Gannon University, as the feed of Gannon Crushes – which, before Easter, was publishing more than 100 tweets daily that sparked endless lumber for the rumor mill – is now at a standstill.

For those unfamiliar, the account would publish “secret admirer” posts it had received anonymously. Posts about Gannon students from Gannon students.

In other words, it was just another business day at an institution whose main clients are 20-year-olds, who, on occasion, behave like gaumless 20-year-olds.

The former operators of the account could hardly be labeled pariahs. If you need evidence, they commented on each Tweet with a dose of mordant wit.

If anything may be gleaned from this latest incident, it’s not that Gannon students created an outlet to harass other students.

It’s another instance of the university’s administration intervening in any public domain that risks dirtying Gannon’s image.

Last year, one misstep by the polarizing GUProblems and the Twitter account was shut down completely.

Currently, Gannon Crushes has remained silent since March 27. Recent history suggests the popular thread didn’t cease on its own.

Social media in itself is not malevolent. The university’s response is not just petulant, but a warning of Gannon’s future of sustained reach into the recalcitrant Internet.

How far does that reach go? Where do students feel safe to express their displeasure without trepidation of reprimand?

Students must be given the choice to act responsibly, or do things they’ll later regret. It builds maturity naturally.

By prohibiting these outlets of expression, the administration risks altering its students into reticent individuals, who won’t speak when something needs to be said.