Juicy, But Rotten

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Anonymity gets vicious. Source: JuicyCampus.com hide caption

itoggle caption Source: JuicyCampus.com

Anyone who's ever shopped at Forever21 knows that kids can be heartless. I've stood in dressing rooms and gasped at the incivility that passes for "gossip" these days. I hate to be a cranky old broad — but it literally makes me long for the old (yes, first season) Kelly Taylor. She may have been bitchy, but at least she had a heart.* Kids these days (YES! That just happened) have devised a new way to torture each other — anonymous gossip message boards. "100% Anonymous!" screams the JuicyCampus website — and with no one taking responsibility, the posts become more and more vile. Racist, homophobic, and rampantly vicious rants against women proliferate — and the more schools try to tamp them down, the more the kids are drawn to the bile. Is there anything socially redeeming at all about this stuff? Is it just sanctioned bullying? You can ask Andrew Mann, who set up his own message board site, CollegeACB. Otherwise, prove me wrong if you can — can you have a good experience on these things?

*Of course then, the producers punished her for the next nine seasons with two rapes, a psychopathic roommate, and that dude with the eyebrows.



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A few comments . . .

Can the type of information available on these sites be used in courts as providing information on character? For example, if a man is charged with date rape, can he use information saying the woman is 'most promiscuous' to support his contention that she agrees?

One of the unique and hurtful features of these sites is that they last forever. Five years from now people's employers, mothers, husbands, and children will be able to read them. My mother has found information about me on these sites.

Sent by Nancy | 3:22 PM | 8-25-2008

College kids gossip on the internet?!? Alert the media! I also heard there was porn on the internet; maybe TOTN could run a story on that out too.

Sent by Chris Franklin | 3:25 PM | 8-25-2008

Your guest made a comment that it should be obvious what should and shouldn't be taken seriously. What should be obvious to him is that the majority of college students are under 25 years of age, and that the human brain isn't fully formed until 25. What he takes seriously is completely different from what a college student takes seriously -- serious enough to cause a suicidal person to take action on such ideation.

Sent by Heidi Lott | 3:28 PM | 8-25-2008

Why can't people flag comments for removal as is done on craigslist?

Sent by Steve | 3:31 PM | 8-25-2008

have these sites been used to boost ones image on campus, ex start a romor about yourself say about your endowment, so as to atract co eds

Sent by jason | 3:31 PM | 8-25-2008

Soon we will be so saturated with filth and gossip and pornography that it all seem normal. Thanks to YouTube, gradeschoolers will see thier classmates' mothers doing beer bongs and being disgraceful while scantily clad at Spring Break and those gradeschoolers will say, "Love your mama's tramp stamp."

Sent by Sue | 3:47 PM | 8-25-2008

When I see my psychologist, it's a privileged, and to the outside world, anonymous. Yet, if I was to threaten myself or someone else, the provider is obligated to report the possibility. The same is true of child abuse and doctors/nurses.

On the sites under discussion today, there needs to be some rules regarding the consequences of posts with threats, or phrasing with the intent to harm. The site owner must take on certain responsibilities knowing that, in particular circumstances, the effect of inaction outweigh the possible abridgment of free speech.

Sent by Steve Schumer | 3:48 PM | 8-25-2008

Regarding the porn comment, unlike porn, which I can safely say you know the risk you're taking by being in that industry, these sites attack anybody. It may or may not be true, but it's an attack that can damage your reputation, even to those who you may not know. Future employers can see this, and that can cost you jobs, friends,and who knows what else. When I started college 3 years ago, xanga was one of the more popular websites, as facebook was still in its infancy. Xanga lets you sign up and only identify you by a screen name. I'm assuming since you made that satirical comment that you have never been the victim of an attack. I've been attacked by someone unknown. So much so that it threatened my personal safety, my family, my pets. Every time I tried to block him, he'd just come back. This was bad- and I had no idea who it was. Hardly anyone beleived me when I tried to show them the threatening site. I threatened to go to the FBI to end it. Eventually the threats stopped, and no one was hurt, but the feeling of not knowing who your attacker is is quite a frightening experience.
I don't think that this should be allowed- it's an incredibly inmature, juvinile outlet for supposed adults.
That's not to say I want to see it gotten rid of-but I think that the users should not be seen as anonomyous. Rate my professor .com was mentioned on todays show as a similar website- I disagree. Rate my professor has saved me so many times from picking a professor I would not get along with. I will agree that there are some who unfairly judge professors because they gave them a grade they feel they didn't deserve. But for the most part, rate my professor is a fantastic website!

Sent by Chris | 4:08 PM | 8-25-2008

I can't believe NPR stooped to airing this juvenile story! (as you said on the air something about JR. High). Agreed. What this (these) kid(s) don't realize is that what they say and do on this site, from an ADULT prespective, is childish, non-compassionate, mindless, unconscience, and I agree, is "bullying". It only shores up the fact the all the brain receptors aren't connecting at this time in their youth. One only hopes that with age they will look back and realize how hurtful they were and find it difficult to live with themselves. I have two things that come to mind, "if you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all" and "loose lips sink ships". But I don't expect any of these "time out" generations to understand as they have never had any consequence for their actions their entire lives. After all, it is the "all about me" generation. I only hope that they don't sleep at night thinking about what they have said. I believe that the person who started this now does have a responsibility to remove it because someone was hurt and will be affected by it the rest of her life. But he is part of the "collective unconscience", and he proved it with his answers. I can't believe I listened to the whole program. My message to these college kids is "get a life", you may learn something. Applause to the (Vanderbilt?Univ) who condemned it. Kids (and they are kids) need to spend their time trying to learn something, starting with, virtues would be good.

Sent by Sue Erickson | 9:01 PM | 8-25-2008

You'll notice that at the CollegeACB site does have the ability to flag posts, and also does have some rules and moderation. Juicycampus, does not.

Sent by Dave Patterson | 9:45 PM | 8-25-2008

After hearing about the rape that was posted on Juicy Campus, I couldn't help but wonder if it occurred to the victim and/or her friends to turn the tables and post all the info they knew about the perpetrator. If so, then college campuses could be anonymously warned about alleged rapists and molesters, without fear of retaliation, right?

Sent by Rhonda | 2:39 AM | 8-26-2008

I think they should all be treated as fiction, just like that; that hopefully prevents them being used as evidence in a court of law, for those who fear that and for those hoping that;

Sent by Claudia Chesche | 4:14 AM | 8-26-2008

I think that these websites support the proliferation of cowards. Never has there been and never will there be a need for cowards in any society. If our young men and women need to say something, we should encourage them to do so without the desire to remain anonymous.

Sent by Bilal Samuel-din Muhammad | 5:57 AM | 8-26-2008

I am a student at The Ohio State University, and I thought the comments concerning ratemyprofessors.com were interesting. I have used the site and found some success with it. At such a large university like OSU you may be offered 5 different teachers to choose from when signing up for a class. It's nice to have the ability to personally decide which students' comments are to be taken seriously and could be beneficial for choosing a particular class. In my particular case I look for multiple student responses that discuss the professors' ability to explain topics and how willing that person is to work with students outside of class.

Sent by Michael Brosius | 10:13 AM | 8-26-2008

You guys should actually read some of the posts at CollegeACB before commenting on them.

Sent by dave | 3:30 PM | 8-26-2008

Watch out, there's another JuicyCampus site coming long. Spokeo reads gossip and slander out of it. They seem to be made by the same company. It's anonymous too.

Sent by BadPeopleSearch | 8:54 PM | 8-31-2008