Around 10:00 p.m. on June 23, Benjamin Lin, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, posted a video of a man yelling racial and homophobic slurs to his Youtube account. The video, which was subtitled and edited by Lin, was allegedly shot on Walnut Ave. The man in the video appears to be drunk and directs his insults at Lin.
The video quickly gained late-night traction on Twitter and Facebook, as SU students spoke out against its unknown subject.
Over the next 12 hours, the video continued to spread over Twitter and Facebook. At 11:30 a.m. on June 24, iSchool social media professor Anthony Rotolo tweeted about the video, attracting the attention of SU's Department of Public Safety.
Several hours passed without further comment from the university. At 2:20 p.m., SU spokesman Kevin Quinn issued a brief statement on Twitter.
Shortly after, Jerk magazine became the first campus media outlet to weigh in on the video.
Around 4:00 p.m., Lin removed the video from Youtube. While it was initially rumored that he did so at the request of SU, Lin later told Karen Hor, the Jerk magazine editor that first reported his story, that he chose to take it down himself.
At 4:08 p.m., Huffington Post College began tweeting SU students about the video, suggesting that the incident could soon gain national attention. At 4:32 p.m., Syracuse Post-Standard Reporter Glenn Coin contacted Jerk about the story. At 5:47, NBC3/CBS5 Producer Chris Shephard also contacted Jerk before tweeting multiple requests to SU students for comment. This was shortly after CBS5 Anchor Michael Benny blogged about the incident on CNYCentral.com.
As of 5:20 p.m., SU had yet to issue a more extensive statement on the issue. Some within the university community have criticized SU's silence. Dan Klamm is Career Service's marketing coordinator; Kelly Lux is the social media strategist at the iSchool; Rotolo, again, is an iSchool social media professor.