Yesterday morning, I came online and found an interesting article on a website called Juicy Campus. This is a site devised for college students to go online, share funny stories, experiences and is general fun for those in college. The founder, Matt Ivester has been out of college for a couple of years and designed the site specifically for college students. One would think that a online place to hang out and have fun is a good thing, right? Absolutely not. I cannot find any fun in this at all.
There is a dark side to Juicy Campus as in any other site where people post and interact. Juicy Campus is also a place to cyber bully. Gossip turns ugly and students are basically slandering one another. One student in particular had a cruel experience on this site. She was raped one night on the street and shared this traumatic experience with her close friends and family. Nine months later, her experience was posted on the Juicy Campus site and many responses of “she deserved it”, “she is a slut” and other derogatory comments were targeted at her. Needless to say, the experience only made her trauma worse, not better. This site has also raised some legal issues and come under the concern of the Consumer Fraud Act. Of course, Ivester is hiding under the First Amendment of free speech and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. His attitude is that there should be no censorship and that some of this stuff on there is mean but at the same time its funny. In a nutshell, he has no remorse about what is occurring on this site.
Are we a society that wants to continue to enable abusive behavior? Folks, if someone has been raped, its not good to rejoice and encourage slander towards the victim. Its not good to spread vicious gossip about others for fun. I understand that people should be able to speak their mind. However, at the expense of hurting others? What is good about that? I know many will tell me not to take this site so seriously. People are being affected by this! How can I not take this seriously? Not only is this cyber bullying but its abuse and outright slander. My guess is Mr. Ivester has never come under the fire of bullies. If he had, I am sure he would put limits on his site. I do not like censorship either but good grief! Some people just do not know when to stop! Are we becoming a nation lacking a conscience? Is this gossip really that juicy?
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info/ .