Wanker Of The Day

December 30th, 2008at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Matt Ivester is a truly horrible person:

Across the country, college students are trading personal postings about their classmates, from the “ugliest sorority girl” at Truman State to “frat fags” at Clemson. Some postings simply state a person’s name with the command “Discuss” underneath. And they do, often in highly profane and personal terms.

Juicycampus.com has taken college gossip to a new level, transmitted instantly and anonymously. Students can post whatever they please – true or false, trivial or traumatizing – about whomever they please. The result is a free-for-all message board that makes bathroom scribbles look like kid’s play. The website was started 15 months ago on seven campuses and has spread to 500 colleges. Boston is a particularly busy locale, since it hosts 300,000 college students on dozens of campuses.

Matt Ivester, a 2005 graduate of Duke University, founded Juicy Campus, whose slogan is “C’mon. Give us the juice.” The site states: “This is the place to spill the juice about all the crazy stuff going on at your campus. It’s totally anonymous – no registration, login, or email verification required.”

The writers may be anonymous, but their victims are very much identified. At BC, one thread names a student and asks, “Is this girl a straight-up ho or what?” At Northeastern: “Who hooked up with hockey players this year? Name them and comment.” People did. The girl at Northeastern who “looks like a Muppet” got off easy. Ditto for the BC freshman who was merely called “a real tool.”

Some shrug Juicy Campus off as silly; others think it’s toxic. Whichever, it gets a million visits a month. “It became incredibly popular incredibly quickly,” says Ivester, 25, who was president of his fraternity at Duke. “There are 2,400 four-year institutions in the US, and we’d like to be on every single one of them.” It is solely up to Juicy Campus, headquartered in Los Angeles, to add campuses to its roster.

Ivester says he loved gossiping with fraternity brothers at Duke. “So why not have a place where you could share ridiculous, hilarious, entertaining high jinks of campus life?”

(…)

Gossip targets at some schools have reported getting emotionally devastated and even physically ill over the postings. Some have said that it ruined their entire academic year.

But Ivester remains unabashedly proud of the network he created. Legally he thinks he’s covered. Guidelines on the site state that users must agree not to post material that is abusive or obscene – though the rules seem to be honored mostly in the breach. Juicy Campus says it isn’t responsible or liable for the content and doesn’t vouch for its “reliability, accuracy, legitimacy, or quality.”

That doesn’t impress the attorneys general of New Jersey and Connecticut, who are investigating Juicy Campus for fraud for not enforcing its own policy against offensive material. And Google removed the site from its advertising network because it violated the company’s ban against “excessive profanity.”

But wait!  Ivester is actually a sensitive, caring nurturer:

Ivester has spent much time defending his “entertainment” website, saying that it’s all about free speech. But doesn’t the caliber of the conversation bother him? He says he doesn’t like “the personal attacks or mean-spirited stuff,” and in response to complaints, posted a letter reminding users that “words can hurt” and “hate isn’t juicy.”

Hate isn’t juicy, bros and bro-ettes.  We would all do well to remember that.

Entry Filed under: Wankers


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