Oct 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Harvard student group members doxxed after Pro-Palestine letter

the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus

The gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The controversy engulfing Harvard student groups that signed a pro-Palestinian letter grew Wednesday, as a truck displaying the names and faces of students allegedly affiliated with the groups circled the school's campus.

Catch up quick: Thirty-four student groups signed onto a letter by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) on Saturday that said it held "the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence."

  • The letter has garnered widespread attention and backlash from politicians, company CEOs and prominent alumni.
  • Harvard President Claudine Gay issued a statement Tuesday distancing the school from the letter, noting that "no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership."
  • Thousands of students, faculty and alumni then signed on to a statement calling the pro-Palestine committee's letter "completely wrong and deeply offensive."

State of play: The truck featured a billboard displaying the names and faces of supposed members of the co-signing student organizations.

  • The billboard called the students "Harvard's leading antisemites."
  • The demonstration was organized by the conservative media group Accuracy in Media.

What they're saying: "This is a longterm project to hold these antisemitic students accountable and to ensure that everyone in the community, and on this campus, knows who the antisemites are," Adam Guillette, the President of Accuracy in Media, told Axios.

  • "The mobile billboard is just the first of many steps we'll be doing as part of this, and the campaign will go on for quite some time," he added.

The big picture: Allegedly affiliated students have been subject to other doxxing efforts as well.

  • By Tuesday night, four websites had posted some students' personal information, including their "full names, class years, past employment, social media profiles, photos, and hometowns," the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported.
  • As of Wednesday, at least two of the sites had been taken down for violating Google's terms of service, per the Harvard Crimson.
Tweet showing the doxxing truck at harvard
Screenshot: @jasonfurman/X

Worth noting: At least eight student groups that had originally signed the letter have withdrawn their signatures, the Crimson reported.

  • Several students have posted on social media that they had not seen the letter before their organization signed onto it.
  • "The doxxing I have seen is abhorrent," Jason Furman, a professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard, posted on X, adding that those publishing students' information are doing so "with no idea at all whether these students had any role in the letter."

Zoom out: Harvard police have stepped up security on campus and Harvard Yard will be closed to non-ID holders each night through Monday, and the university said Wednesday it was in contact with the students whose identities had been exposed to ensure their safety.

  • "We do not condone or ignore intimidation," Harvard Executive Vice President Meredith Weenick wrote in an email to students Wednesday obtained by Axios.

Meanwhile, in a statement to the Crimson on Wednesday, the PSC called the doxxing truck "the ugliest culmination of a campaign to silence pro-Palestinian activism that the PSC has experienced for years.'

  • Harvard Hillel, the school's Jewish campus organization, also condemned the doxxing truck and other intimidation tactics against co-signatories, despite their continued rejection of the PSC's statement.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add a statement from Accuracy in Media and to clarify just one truck was used.

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