Controversy swirls around year-old anonymous campus gossip site


Have you ever wondered how college life would be without MySpace or Facebook? A new, fast-growing gossip network dedicated to college campuses around the nation is described by the founder as “the opposite of Facebook.”

If you’re lacking juice in your life, then check out, a Web site recently deemed as scandalous due to its obscene content and light censorship. Posts are completely anonymous and linked to the college you allegedly attend. Whether your campus is added or not, everyone has access to the postings and users can agree, disagree or reply to the blogs.

In October, JuicyCampus added its 500th college campus, marking the one-year anniversary of its launch. The site contains more than 80,000 posts thus far and receives visits from tens of thousands of
users daily.

“When I was thinking about this idea, a lot of people were saying ‘you have to find the new Facebook.’ But the next Facebook isn’t Facebook. It’s already been done,” said Matt Ivester, the CEO and founder of JuicyCampus.

Because when you visit JuicyCampus, you don’t have a username, profile, password or anything that identifies you.

Yet not everyone can handle the juice.

Controversy revolves around some of the juiciest and most viewed posts including topics such as “Biggest whores on campus,” “Boys with STD’s,” “Sorority gossip,” “I want to have sex with …” and “People with eating disorders.”

When faced with criticisms of the Web site’s vulgar language, Ivester consistently reverts back to the First Amendment, emphasizing Americans’ right to free speech, no matter how damaging or false that speech might be.

“JuicyCampus is a place you have to choose to visit. If the content doesn’t appeal to you, if you find it offensive, don’t visit,” Ivester said.

Greek club can also be found all around the site.

“Heard OLE MISS/KD Rush Chair got caught cashing checks she had other sorority sisters make out to her for their KD fines … LOL BUSTED GIRLFRIEND,” an anonymous JuicyCampus user said.

But not all users concentrate their posts on scandals. Post titles also include issues such as “McCain v. Obama,” “Funniest guys on campus,” “Girls with facial hair” and “Which Muslims were terrorists?”

Before entering the juice, users must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Web site, which prohibits users from posting obscene, copyrighted, defamatory, spam, false and contact information. Postings are never prescreened. According to the juicy agreement, site-runners do have the right to remove postings, but they are not obligated to monitor the content on the site. But don’t mistake anonymity for invincibility.

An angry blogger once posted a threat to shoot and kill everyone on his campus and JuicyCampus complied with the police and tracked down the student’s internet service provider.

But even if a student’s ISP is revealed, most providers given a subpoena or search warrant would contact the subscriber before revealing an identity, giving the subscriber a chance to challenge the subpoena before anonymity is lost.

“When it’s an issue of campus safety, we will completely comply with law enforcement agencies,” Ivester said. Except in situations previously mentioned, JuicyCampus makes an agreement with all users to conceal their identity.

JuicyCampus is owned by Lime Blue Inc., and its headquarters are based in Los Angeles with 20 employees working for the company.

Search engines are blocked from accessing information on the site, which means if someone searches your name on Google, a juicy post including your name will not appear.

“I would encourage everyone to check out the site and judge it for themselves,” Ivester said.

E-mail April Schulhauser at [email protected]