Juicy Campus: What Do Your Classmates Really Think of You?

Let’s face it: We LOVE to gossip. We gossip about friends and we gossip about foes. Such idle talk allows us to convey information quickly, although not always accurately. This being said, it is no surprise that the website Juicy Campus has been increasing in popularity since it was founded on August 1, 2007.

When my friends first introduced me to Juicy Campus, I wrote it off as another place for people to share their college exploits online. But I quickly realized that this site was different; I actually knew the people that were being discussed! Friends, classmates, hookups—no one was free from the wrath of this critical group. Let’s just put it this way, if the “Burn Book” from Mean Girls was published online for all to see and comment on, I would imagine it would look similar to Juicy Campus.

The site was created by Mark Ivester, a Duke University Alum, with “the simple mission of enabling online anonymous free speech on college campuses.” (Editor’s Note: That’s a nice way to refer to sh*t talking!) There are currently 64 colleges listed on the site, including many prestigious institutions such as Harvard, UPenn, and Brown. The topics on the site range from the innocent (“Best Frat on Campus”) to the scandalous (“Sex with Professors”). Each post gets a rating ranging from 0% Juicy to 100% Juicy, so the juicier the gossip, the better the rating.

And because everything posted on Juicy Campus is anonymous, people have no censor when it comes to describing how they truly feel about someone. As a result, degrading, racist, homophobic, and downright hurtful remarks are prevalent throughout the site.

As guilty as I feel reading through the posts, I often find myself deciding to read “just one more.” I mean, who doesn’t want to know if she is considered the hottest girl on campus? But sometimes this curiosity gets people into trouble, as was the case here when a junior at Baylor University found her name not under “Hottest Girl,” but rather under “Biggest Slut.”

The embarrassment doesn’t end here. A couple of my own friends have been named on the site (yes, first and last name) saying they are “easy” or “ugly” when I know that it is simply not true. Furthermore, I have encountered posts where people comment on another person’s genitals (one of which referred to a guy that I had been seeing—kind of sucked) or even post naked pictures of an ex in retaliation. I don’t know about you, but I would be mortified.

The site takes no responsibility for the information posted, claiming that the authors are the ones responsible. In fact, as shown on CNN, people who have been hurt by the website have no way to fight back. Kind of hard to place the blame on Mr. Anonymous, wouldn’t you agree?

So we are left with one question: Is Juicy Campus just a fun place where college students can dish out the dirt on their friends and classmates, or has it become a way for people to tarnish the reputation of others with no repercussions?

[Photo courtesy of NYTimes.com]

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