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Winchester students come together online as response to Coronavirus

A rising number of social media accounts led by University students are gaining popularity over Instagram. As the spread of Coronavirus limits social interactions between undergraduates, many are taking to the social media platform in lieu of the events and societies the University usually offers. The accounts range from advice forums, like @winchagonyaunt and @winchuni_lgbtqia, to confession pages, such as @winch.uni.love.confessions and @winchuni.rants. While some are intended to make their followers laugh, others were created to support fellow students. The one thing all of the accounts have in common, however, is complete anonymity. None of the people behind the accounts share their identities online despite the number of followers they amass. @winchagonyaunt started their account to ‘be a port of call for anyone who feels comfortable’ sharing that followers of the account have submitted personal problems that ‘they don’t feel comfortable even telling their friends.’ They also shared their thoughts on the anonymity. ‘I do sometimes pass people on the street who have submitted and it makes me feel good that they are able to go about their days with one less thing to worry about.’ @ghost.of.winchester is another anonymous student-led account – with a more physical presence. First posting on the 4th October 2020, the team behind the account adorn sheets and sunglasses before posing as ghosts around the university. they share: ‘We were bored and it has given us something fun to do, so it definitely hasn’t affected us negatively. It gives us something to look forward to other than work … it’s quite funny because I will meet people at uni , spend time with them, be in the same degree as them and no one has any idea that it’s us who is behind the sheet.’

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