It’s a topic that’s been talked about at length, but the fact that the hashtag for this article isn’t even #academiccourse suggests a lot about how the term itself is used and abused.
A student from the University of Oxford recently had to take out a restraining order after she was branded a “racist” on Twitter for tweeting about her university’s exam results.
The student, named as Liza, was initially asked to remove her Twitter account by Twitter but decided to continue using the platform to share her opinions on exam results and other subjects.
Liza said she decided to share the results of her Oxford University’s exam because it was “really important” for her to understand what was going on, and that the exam results had been an “excellent” job for the university.
She said it was an “insult to everyone’s intelligence and not the university’s”.
But her account was taken down after she tweeted about the exam and her own experiences as a person of colour, which was deemed racist.
Lizzie Cripps, a lecturer in English at the University, told the BBC that while “academic integrity” has been around for a long time, there’s always been a backlash against it on social media, with people using it to attack academics, and this has happened on Twitter since at least 2011.
“It’s always had this very clear and direct definition,” Crippss told the Guardian.
“It’s been around as long as there has been an academic course.”
While the term has been used in the past to refer to a range of subjects, there is a “very clear and strong distinction between academic integrity and academic dishonesty”, she said.
The term has also been used to refer specifically to an academic who is deemed dishonest, with many students using the hashtag #academocratinfiltrate and the #acdichate hashtag to share their experiences.
But Crippses said that “academocracy” was never intended to refer solely to academics, as it was often used to describe the way people are treated by society.
“When you use that term, you’re also not saying you’re an academic but that you’re a member of the elite class.”
There’s a very strong cultural understanding that academic dishoneness is the norm, not necessarily a crime.
That it’s acceptable for people to act dishonestly.
“However, the University’s Office of Equity and Diversity has come under fire recently for using the term in its curriculum, claiming that “racism is not a thing”, and saying that the term was “anachronistic”.
It is worth noting that #academyinfiltrate has been banned in the US and elsewhere in the UK, but has also gained popularity in other parts of the world.
In Canada, a hashtag calling for the resignation of university president Dr Paul Sona has been shared more than 7,500 times.
However, it’s not the first time that #Academocracy has been hijacked.
In February, a similar hashtag was hijacked by the “Academic Locker” hashtag in an attempt to promote white supremacy.
The hashtag was subsequently banned in Canada and the US.
But the University is not the only academic institution to use the term, with other academic institutions also using it, and the term is now used on Twitter in places like Australia, where it’s also a commonly used hashtag for students and faculty members.”
There’s a huge backlash against this term.””
I’ve seen students being called racist and being told to take it down, and they’re saying ‘what’s wrong with you?’
There’s a huge backlash against this term.”
She said the term “has always been used by people in the academic world and I think it’s time we stop using it.”
A spokesperson for the University told The Guardian that the terms “academia” and “acredemy” are used in different ways, but that it’s important to use them as a common shorthand for academic institutions, as well as in reference to a variety of different subjects, including literature and music.
“We recognise that some people may find this term to be offensive and have used it to highlight some of the injustices and inequalities faced by students,” the spokesperson said.
“While academic integrity has been and remains a term of support and advocacy in our community, we do not condone the use of this term or the misuse of it in a way that would diminish or negate the importance of academic rigour or excellence in academic study.”
Follow Helen on Twitter.