Fake news states University of Oxford is revoking degrees of alumni with Kremlin links. On Sunday, false information was circulated on social media and by Rossiya 1, one of the biggest TV networks in Russia, claiming that the University of Oxford had begun revoking the degrees of 10,000 students with ties to the Kremlin.
Any graduate since 2014 who has connections to Russian officials is reportedly at risk.
According to the Panorama investigation, degree diplomas are already being destroyed by the British Police, and students will not be given a tuition refund.
Fake news states University of Oxford is revoking degrees of alumni with Kremlin links. The original source of the tale was an article from the satirical Russian website Panorama.
A prominent disclaimer that reads, “All texts on this site are hideous parodies of reality and not true news,” is placed next to each item.
Even a fabricated comment from the purported University Vice-Chancellor, Sir Louis Lawrence, who they claimed to represent, was included in the Panorama article: “We are a democratic country, and we cannot grant diplomas to representatives of brutal and totalitarian regimes.”
The satirical website not only made up the message, but also the name. Actually, since 2016 the Vice-Chancellor has been Professor Louise Richardson.
Despite this, Dmitry Kiselev, a presenter on Rossiya 1 Star, cited the accusations as an illustration of “absurd” Western sanctions against Russia.
The information was a joke, but Kiselev didn’t realize it until almost two minutes into his tirade.
He continued, though, by saying that the idea sounds like a very “plausible” and realistic one.
Some social media users, however, have believed the report and have taken to the web to express their dismay at the ‘news,’ which they view as an illustration of xenophobia in European institutions.
One user said on Facebook that it was a “unpleasant” policy, while another saw the potential to boost “the prestige of Russian colleges” and saw the advantages in the purported move.
The University of Oxford acknowledged the claims were “false” after being presented with the Rossiya 1 video and the Panorama report.