JuicyCampus.com was a website focusing on gossip, rumors, and rants related to colleges and universities in the United States. As of February 5, 2009, it is out of business, and its website now redirects to its blog.
JuicyCampus described itself as an enabler of "online anonymous free speech on college campuses." Through strict privacy policies, it allowed users to post messages and comments without having to worry about identification. Readers were able to vote on which posts they found "juiciest," or most provocative. As of March 16, 2008 the site contained rumors for 59 colleges and universities. By October 2008, JuicyCampus had expanded to over 500 college campuses. Much of its content was related to fraternities and sororities.
The creator of JuicyCampus, identified in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education as a Duke University alumnus named Matt Ivester, described the website as within a trend of "gossip 2.0," which he sees as "pretty entertaining." Timothy Chester, chief information officer of Pepperdine University, described the purpose of JuicyCampus in a letter written to Google as to create a "virtual bathroom wall' for abusive, degrading, and hateful speech."
The website began operation in August 2007, and was closed indefinitely on February 5, 2009 due to lack of revenue.
It was initially launched on just seven campuses (Duke University, Loyola Marymount University, UNC, USC, Pepperdine, UCLA and College of Charleston).
On December 8, 2007 from a computer at Loyola Marymount University, a student allegedly posted a threat to shoot random students on the campus' "Alumni Mall". The quote read, "I am going to shoot and kill as many people as I can until which time I am incapacitated or killed by the police." The Los Angeles Police Department apprehended the suspect. The police released the suspect without filing charges. The message was originally posted on the website 4chan.
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JuicyCampus has received much media attention for not censoring the content posted by its users. CNN released an article documenting the anonymous rumors on the website and the panic supposedly felt by some students.
Matt Ivester, the site's creator, has done numerous interviews defending the website. Larry Moneta, the vice president for student affairs at Duke University said that when he asked Ivester to moderate the website Ivester refused and indicated that he believes moderation is an unnecessary step toward censorship. The Chronicle of Higher Education said that "the site revels in the publicity it gets" and that the website keeps a list of websites, including those that are critical of JuicyCampus in a blog. Ivester, a 2005 Duke graduate, said on his website's official blog that "Hate isn’t juicy," encouraging users to think carefully about what they were writing and whether their posts were entertaining or just plain mean.
In January 2008 the undergraduate student government at Pepperdine University passed a resolution asking for a block on the site. The administration did not enact the block. Austin Maness, a Pepperdine senior who wrote the resolution, said that he felt that the move was "a mistake" as it increased awareness of the website. The administration of Pepperdine complained to Google; Daniel Rubin, a Google spokesman, said that Google removed JuicyCampus from its advertising network due to "excessive profanity." By January 2008, JuicyCampus moved to another advertising network. Texas Christian University students asked advertisers to not buy space on the website. In November 2008, officials at High Point University requested that the website remove the school from its servers. When JuicyCampus refused, the University blocked the site from its campus network. During the same month Tennessee State University (TSU) blocked JuicyCampus. Ivester criticized the decision and compared it to the People's Republic of China's censoring of the internet. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the decision. JuicyCampus filed a lawsuit against TSU and asked students to join the suit.
In March 2008, the office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, Anne Milgram, started an investigation into the website. Milgram said that because the site promises to block offensive content, but does not have a mechanism for reporting such content, it may be in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In March 2008 the office subpoenad the website. JuicyCampus criticized the actions of the office, calling them "absurd."
In October 2008, The GW Patriot and "The Colonialist," two student-run publications at The George Washington University, called for students to spam the university's JuicyCampus page in order to fill the site with irrelevant material. Their goal was to reduce the forum's popularity on campus.
Throughout its tumultuous life Juicy Campus itself was never sued for its content. Moreover, the site was never forced to reveal a user's IP address as a result of a claim of defamation.
On February 4, 2009, JuicyCampus released a statement stating the website will no longer be able to operate due to economic conditions. Juicycampus ceased operations on February 5, 2009 because of financial problems, specifically an inability to turn a profit.
- "A Crash Course in Online Gossip." The New York Times. 1.
- "Web site features campus gossip".
- Young, Jeffrey R. "How to Combat a Campus Gossip Web Site (and Why You Shouldn't)." The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 17, 2008.
- Nader Alsheikh (December 8, 2007). "Shooting threat suspect apprehended". Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Associated Press (December 9, 2007). "Student arrested after threats to attack campus". CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "Cleaning up the Juice". Los Angeles Loyolan. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- "College Web site posts sex gossip, hate, rumor," CNN
- "Online campus gossips won't show their faces." CNN.
- Fisher, Marc. "Dorm Gossip Turns Slimy on the Internet." The Washington Post. March 2, 2008 2.
- Nelson, Katie (November 21, 2008). "Website spreads slander about students". Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Young, Jeffrey R. "JuicyCampus Is Blocked on 2 Campuses, and Gossipers on Another Face a Lawsuit." The Chronicle of Higher Education. Thursday November 20, 2008. Retrieved on December 27, 2008.
- Martin, Jonathan. "College Gossip Site Sues TSU." WSMV-TV. December 10, 2008. Retrieved on December 27, 2008.
- "COLLEGE GOSSIP WEB SITE TARGETED BY NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL." Associated Press at WBJB. March 19, 2008. Retrieved on May 16, 2012.
- Benner, Kate. "N.J. subpoenas JuicyCampus." The Daily Princetonian. Tuesday March 25, 2008. Retrieved on May 16, 2012.
- Young, Jeffrey R. "Juicy Campus Gossip Site Calls New Jersey Attorney General’s Questions About It ‘Absurd." The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 26, 2008. Retrieved on March 16, 2012.
- "Engaging JuicyCampus," The GW Patriot.
- "How To Defeat JuicyCampus," The Colonialist.
- Mancinik, Joe and Nathan Grossman. "New gossip Web site draws concern." GW Hatchet. October 9, 2008.
- Go, Alison: Juicy Campus will be shut down. US News and World Report. February 4, 2009. Retrieved on May 16, 2012.