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Gossip Web site: Reaping what it Sowed

By Damien O'Farrell | March 6 2008
Things reportedly are getting "out of hand" on a campus gossip Web site.

Matt Ivestor created JuicyCampus as a place where people could post their unfiltered thoughts and opinions anonymously on any rage of subjects.

Despite some legal protections, Ivester is now taking means to protect himself from defamation and libel lawsuits.

In a blog post, he says, "Some of the things that have been posted have been mean-spirited, and we have received emails from people claiming to have been defamed on the site. We want you to make JuicyCampus juicy, not hateful," and quickly follows up with the reminder, "Juicy Campus is not the author of the posts that appear on the site. Rather, JuicyCampus is the provider of an interactive computer service. As such, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 230, JuicyCampus is immune from liability arising from content posted by users."

Apparently anonymous posts "accuse others of being child molesters and debate who is the sluttiest girl in school."

Some fear for the creator that as soon as the wrong person is attacked on the site, he will be "dealing with a nearly constant barrage of legal threats from quite-rightly angry students and parents," that "appeals to simply be nice won't do anything to stop it, and [that] those legal protections may not be as bullet proof as he thinks.

Discussion Starters

How do you address issues of gossip with your community of students? Do you feel the church has done a good job of taming its tongue when addressing concerns that it has had with individuals?

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