WARNING: Viewer Discretion is Advised!
by AMBER EBANKS
Snapchat is attracting a lot of attention amongst students at the University of Maryland College Park.
Two accounts, “Terp.Nation” and “Terp_Nation,” have been circulating across campus. Users can anonymously submit photographs to these Snapchat curators which are then added to the account’s story. These accounts serve the same purpose: to share photographs of university students throughout their day.
Though some of the photographs are harmless, such as students smiling on campus or preparing for a sporting event, many are very graphic. Images of weed, cocaine and people involved in graphic sexual activities are often included. The Snapchat stories on both accounts, which were once very short, have lasted up to 1 minute and 60 seconds or 2000 seconds long in Snapchat terms.
“I unfollowed it because it was really graphic and not an accurate representation of what the University of Maryland is really like and that bothered me,” said a freshman communications major who requested anonymity.
John Koroma, a University Letters and Sciences sophomore, found out about the account “from a friend who was watching their story at the time.” Koroma added that he has yet to submit any photographs to the account.
Last week, “Terp_Nation” posted a picture that reads, “due to all the media attention we received today in the media, Snapchat will most likely delete our account again.” Photographs on the account have been featured on many websites, including Reddit and BroBible. The owners of “Terp_Nation,” who have yet to be identified, will continue to accept submissions through Snapchat, but will now post the images they receive on another app known as Yeti. Meanwhile, the “Terp.Nation” account still exists and currently has a 875 second story.
“I came across the account while on Twitter. A tweet said something along the lines of a UMD Snapchat account with drugs and things of that nature on it so I checked it out to see what was actually going on,” said Oluwafemi Adebayo, a junior GIS major. “I’ve never submitted anything and I don’t plan on it either.”
One of the biggest issues that will face these accounts as they gain notoriety are their names. The accounts associate themselves with the University of Maryland making it appear to be an official account. Public Information Officer Sergeant Roseanne Hoaas is unsure if the accounts have the license to use ‘terp’ in the name since it references the university.
“The University of Maryland Police Department is currently monitoring the pages. There is nothing (we) can really do about the accounts,” the department said in a statement released to Pulsefeedz.
According to Snapchat guidelines, accounts that break their community rules could have their content removed, their account suspended and could be prohibited from using Snapchat in the future.
“So my friend actually asked me to follow the account and to tell her how I feel about it,” said Jenny Santos, a junior Family Science major. “It was undeniably a loaded task to explain how I felt afterwards…the account consisted of a lot of explicit material. And left me pretty lost at words.”
Neither Snapchat account replied to my request for comment. The University of Maryland’s IT department also did not reply to my request for comment before press time.