January 25, 2008

College Campus Gossip Blog Launches at Cornell

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Juicycampus.com, a college campus gossip blog, launched a site for Cornell this semester, giving the Cornell community an anonymous outlet for discussing University social life and more.
On Juicy Campus, anyone can anonymously post Cornell “news.” People can then comment back on the information anonymously. The site boasts that it is not possible for anyone to know who posts or where he or she is posting from.
Matt Ivester, founder and CEO of Juicy Campus, values the anonymity of his site.
“We have no idea who is posting on our site. And unless Jack Bauer, or someone like him, was helping us, I can’t think of any way for us to figure it out,” Ivester said.
The page has gained popularity at the 50 other schools that have Juicy Campus pages, particularly Duke University. Currently Cornell’s page has received only a few posts, many targeted at members of the Greek system.
Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Omicron Pi and Pi Kappa Phi are some of the Greek Houses that have been the subject of commentary.
According to Kayla Roby, a student at Duke, the website influenced the Greek system at her University, particularly with sorority formal recruitment.
“It has definitely ruined reputations. Before girls even came through, people knew who they were because of what had been written about them on Juicy Campus. And we’d all like to believe these things aren’t true, but they’re still going to affect our judgments of people, as unfortunate as that may be,” said Roby.
The website experienced overnight popularity at Duke, and only recently has it waned in popularity, Roby said.
“I think the website has really exposed the Duke student body — we care enough about image, status, and reputations to obsess over this anonymous, falsified site,” she said.
While some students at Cornell are participating in Juicy Campus, others are far from impressed. Jaclyn Goodman ’10 believes that the website is a waste of time.
“Who cares what anonymous people on a website have to say about meaningless issues?” Goodman said. “This site is superficial and it seems that it could only result in negative ramifications for those discussed on it.”
Brian Hastings ’10 saw the more positive aspects of Juicy Campus.
“This seems like a cool idea for a site. If a lot of students find out about it and start posting it might even rival Facebook as a way to procrastinate,” Hastings said.
According to Roby, Ivester is a recent Duke graduate, who started Juicy Campus knowing that Duke students would become quickly addicted.
“Unfortunately, he was right,” Roby said.
Ivester used his own college experiences as inspiration for Juicy Campus.
“Basically, we thought back to when we were in college, remembered all the ridiculous things we did and the hilarious stories, and we created a place where students could share those stories,” Ivester said.
So far Juicy Campus has not run into any legal troubles even though, according to Roby, people at Duke have had their reputations tarnished when sexual history or drug use became public knowledge.
“We haven’t had any major legal concerns since launch. We’re just the platform provider, so any legal issues would really be with the authors of the posts,” Ivester said.
Occasionally, content gets removed from the website, but Ivester said that is rare. People posting do not have the ability to remove any content they post on the site, so the website warns, “Once it’s out there. It’s out there. So be careful what you say.”