The Web site reads like the writing on the wall in a campus bathroom. Its motto is “Always Anonymous … Always Juicy.” And many students around the country are urging its leaders to take down the comments that have been scrawled there for all the world to see.
The site is called JuicyCampus, and it opened this summer. Some of the most viewed topics today are “Who is the sluttiest girl????,” “Hottest Cornell Sophomores,” and “Biggest Cornell Cokeheads?” Anonymous users of the site have posted their picks in each category and in many other, similar topics, and many of the students who are named on the site are not amused.
Pepperdine University’s student government passed a resolution calling on campus administrators to block the site from its campus network.
“We hoped to make a symbolic, public statement that Pepperdine does not support this sort of harmful, libelous gossip,” said Austin Maness, a student at Pepperdine and an officer in the student government, in an e-mail interview. “Furthermore, we had reason to be concerned for the immediate emotional health of a number of our fellow students.”
Critics of the site from Loyola Marymount University started a Facebook group called “BAN JuicyCampus!!!” which has attracted 854 members. An article this week in the Yale Daily News describes reaction to the site on that campus.
Officials from JuicyCampus did not respond to an e-mail message seeking comment. But the company posted a reply on its blog to what it described as the many requests it had received from people asking that their names be removed from the site:
“Two of the biggest problems we face when considering this issue are how strict to be and how exactly to implement some sort of restriction,” said the post on the blog. “But what if we decided to eliminate all posts with names? How would we implement it? Could we create a filter? But then people will just start writing Jo-h-nn_y instead of Johnny. Could we manually screen all posts? No, unfortunately not. … So, for now, we leave it to our users to decide how they want to use the site, and what they think is appropriate (subject to our Terms and Conditions).”
The site has set up specific channels for more than 50 college campuses, and apparently it plans to add more soon.
Should colleges block the site? Is this any different than the many sites that have popped up that let students rate their professors? —Jeffrey R. Young