An anonymous hacker wearing a Guy Fawkes mask took over classroom projection screens at Washington State University last Friday, the fifth of November, to broadcast a prerecorded message adapted from V For Vendetta, in a prank that evidently alarmed administrators and amused students.
The nearly four minute video, which was also posted on YouTube, and has its own website, Facebook page and Twitter hashtag, criticizes the university’s IT department. It also urges the student body to rise up against squirrels on the campus grounds. The rodents, the ersatz V complains, do nothing but “eat, drink and breed.”
A spokeswoman told the Chronicle of Higher Education that campus police were working to identify the perpetrator. “Childish pranks just don’t have a place anymore,” said Darin Watkins. “What may have been seen as cute and clever years ago really doesn’t get that kind of reaction today.”
My question – why? Why do they react in fear when before they would’ve laughed at a joke? I wish something like this would happen at Brandeis – it’d be fun and interesting. I wonder if we’d hear something like that out of Ed Callahan. I doubt it – he’s a decent man and I don’t think he’d try to pin “serious charges” on something like that.
Also of note – the prank also has its own website and facebook page, and it is sparking discussion of serious issues like “university governance, course cuts, and tuition hikes.” What an interesting take on campus activism. I like it.