Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Site Promoting Campus Gossip Upsets Students Across the Country

In the tradition of comes, a website which CNN (in a story from the AP) describes as "a simple conduit urging users to post gossip and promising them total anonymity", and available on more than fifty campuses around the country. The site, started by Matt Ivester, takes advertising, so is free to use, but tells posters, "`our terms and conditions require users to agree not to post anything that is defamatory, libelous, etc." But a few paragraphs later, the blog implies that it will rebuff anything short of a public safety query: "If your school calls upset about some girl being called a slut, we're not handing over access to our server data. If the LAPD calls telling us there is a shooting threat, you better believe we're gonna help them ...'".

Apparently relying on Section 230 of the CDA, the site's owners take no responsibility for upsetting or defamatory posts, which apparently abound. In response, many students at the schools at which the site is accessible are urging that their peers avoid logging on. Read more here in CNN's story and here in a Yale Daily News story.

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