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September 24, 2014

Hackers accuse student of creating Hyde Park List

Editors' Note: This article deals with a threat of sexual assault and may be triggering for some people.

Early Wednesday morning, a group calling itself the UChicago Electronic Army (UEA) hacked the MODA fashion magazine’s website and publicly accused a University student of creating and distributing the Hyde Park List, a list of students accused of sexual assault. The group created a fake e-mail address, purportedly belonging to the student it accused, and sent an e-mail to a Maroon reporter directing them to the website. The UEA previously hacked into Freenters, the free printing service, in what they said was an attempt to expose its lax security last November.

The Hyde Park List, a Tumblr accusing students of sexual assault, appeared over the weekend with accompanying flyers posted around the University. It was taken down Sunday night but reappeared Tuesday, generating controversy and media attention.

On the hacked site the UEA satirizes the Hyde Park List, copying its format but with its own message.

“OBJECTIVE: Keeping the Hyde Park community safe from people who publicly accuse other people of committing varying levels of gender-based violence without any proof whatsoever—since the University won't,” the site says, in a parody of the Hyde Park List’s stated purpose.

UEA goes on to mock feminists, social-justice warriors, and others and threatens “to rape harder.”

Several hours later the Hyde Park List updated its Tumblr with a post entitled “Addressing Your Concerns.” The post stated the Hyde Park List does not intend to accuse students of sexual violence, but rather intends to provide warnings of “individuals we would warn our friends about, because of their troubling behavior towards romantic or sexual partners.” It noted that the rankings of warnings, red and orange, do not have a specific meaning to them.

The post also announced the Hyde Park List will create a Google document with specific allegations, with the accused students able to send in their responses to the allegations. The Google document will only be accessible to those with a UChicago e-mail account.

The post also included further reasoning for creating the Tumblr.

“The University has failed to protect the community, sexual assault is historically deeply underreported, and we have failed as a campus to have a real and serious conversation about sexual assault on campus, even after the Title IX investigation,” it says.

The University News office could not be reached for comment at press time.

Continue checking back for updates as the story develops, including an interview with the owner of the Hyde Park tumblr.

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