If you're in college, you're probably already aware of the site Juicy Campus. If you're not, here's the breakdown: Juicy Campus is basically a glorified message board that encourages college students to talk shit about their peers. Message boards with slanderous potential are nothing new on college campuses; during my time in college in the early '00s, the Daily Jolt's "uncensored forums" were the site of many a vicious personal attack. What's different about Juicy Campus is that vicious, anonymous attacks are the site's raison d'etre, not unfortunate by-products. Readers are encouraged to earmark salacious posts for their "Juiciness," and each post has a juiciness rating. (A sample post reads: "I know we already talked about this, but this is one ugly, acne face, fat whore! I heard that she gives head so bad, that someone fell asleep while she was doing it!". Another, meant for students at Duke University, is headlined: "The sluttiest sluts on campus".)
Unsurprisingly, college administrators and students around the country are nonplussed, and many have tried to ban the site from campus networks. Juicy Campus creator Matt Ivester, in an email interview with the AP, says: "We believe that Juicy Campus can have a really positive impact on college campuses, as a place for both entertainment and free expression. Frankly, we're surprised that any college administration would be against the free exchange of ideas."
Ivester, by the way, is a former fraternity president who went to Duke. As we learned back in 2006 from a highly informative Rolling Stone article about social structures on the Duke Campus following the lacrosse rape scandal, frat boys are at the apex of the social hierarchy. (On a side note, those falsely accused players are now suing Duke and the City of Durham for invasion of privacy, emotional distress and other injuries.)Rolling Stone writer Janet Reitman quotes a student, Anna, who relates this story about fraternity dominance at Duke:
''One of my friends thinks she's the biggest feminist, but to me she is one of the biggest anti-feminists, just because of her sexual behavior'' — which is hooking up with several guys in the course of a weekend, including one, a ''regular'' who ''really treats her like shit...''But, you know, she's doing it out of fear,'' says Anna, smiling a bit. ''It's like, 'Oh, yes, consistent sex — that's great. And-maybe he'll invite me to this big frat formal that's coming up that everyone wants to go to.'"
There are already several Facebook groups decrying Juicy Campus, and although the site probably won't (and shouldn't) be banned — you can't stop assholes on the internet from being homophobic, racist, sexist jerks — for Ivester to pretend that he's doing something noble for free speech is laughable at best. Is it possible that the '05 graduate, a few years out of college, created his site not to promote a "free exchange of ideas" but simply so he can feel some of the social power he once wielded before graduation?