How Colleges Feel About Gossip Sites
This article in Time magazine discusses the negative aspects of popular online anonymous gossip sites. With many students being defamed and ridiculed everyday, more and more colleges are approaching these website owners and requesting that their colleges be removed from the sites. JuicyCampus reigned as the most popular college gossip site until it was shut down after advertisers revoked their funding. Now, CollegeACB has received 480,000 hits on its best day, and a slow day brings in about half as much. College administrators discuss through the article that this form of gossip is cowardly and “the worst of junior high.” The owner of the site CollegeACB, Peter Frank, a sophomore at Wesleyan University, claims that the site is simply a public discussion board, and he cannot control what students post about each other. He claims that it is in his best interest as well as the students to allow all comments, unless a complaint has been made. If a complaint has been made by a student and the post includes that student’s name, Frank claims he will remove the comment immediately. When asked about how he responds to requests be colleges to remove any comments affiliated with them, Frank refuses. With colleges feeling unable to directly impact what is posted on these sites by their students, they have taken more creative measures. Some colleges have been hosting seminars on how to approach issues face to face, and others have set up student-run protests against online gossiping. Right now, these sites are completely legal, but it seems that we will have to see in the future whether or not legal measures will be taken to those that have been abused.
Online gossiping sites provide college students with means to lie or make hurtful comments and rumors about fellow students. With no security on these sights, and complete anonymity, students feel as if they can say anything they want without any repercussions. In the past, students had to discuss how they felt about each other face to face with full responsibility of their words and actions. Today, with all the technological advances, this has been moved to online abuse that cannot even be considered a discussion. One student makes a statement about another that may or may not be true, and the other student has no ability to approach that student or change what has been said. Unfortunately, today there is no sensor on what students can say about each other. Hopefully, in the near future, more college campuses will recognize this issue and bring up opportunities to take a stand against it.