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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Gossip sites allow for legal bullying

As students graduate from high school and enter a university setting, some step up cyber bullying from social networking websites to campus gossip blogs, like TheDirty.com.

Brenda High, the founder of Bully Police USA, said, “”Once kids get into college, we don’t really see so much of cyber-bullying anymore because they’ve finally matured so to speak. They’re beginning to realize it’s something really bad.””

The growing popularity of gossip websites on college campuses proves High’s statement might not be entirely true. Some would claim cyber-bullying is still in full force across college campuses nationwide.

CampusGossip.com and TheDirty.com are two gossip websites that allow user-submitted photos and comments to be posted to sections of the websites.

TheDirty.com informs viewers that posts, comments and pictures posted to the website may contain personal opinions, assumption, speculations or falsified information.

Submitters to the website remain confidential and give their rights to the pictures to the website when they submit them.

CampusGossip.com has recently added a new section to their website called “”Raw.”” This section allows users to post nude photos of their fellow classmates.

Rebecca Sternberg, a psychology freshman, said, “”I’ve been on ‘The Dirty’ twice. People don’t realize that this stuff can stick with you after college.””

Ariel Feldman, an undecided freshman, said, “”The people that post on these gossip websites are obviously bored with their lives.””

High said, “”If parents could see the type of things that are on the Internet about their children, they would be absolutely shocked.””

The creator of TheDirty.com, Nik Richie, comments on the majority of the posts with his personal thoughts. Comments include Richie’s opinion about student’s weight, sexual orientation and social status.

Peter Somoza, a psychology junior, said, “”The whole website is just immature. Nik’s comments can hurt people’s feelings but at the same time, people can’t take it personal because he says the same degrading stuff about everyone.””

There are a number of laws that allow these sites to legally post the photos and comments. One of these laws, the Communications Decency Act passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, allows website creators to be unaccountable for comments and posts on their website.

Alexander Saniuk, a pre-pharmacy freshman, said, “”I had the experience of being on TheDirty.com and let me say it is not very pleasing at all. It is one thing to play a joke on someone, but putting someone up on the Internet to humiliate them crosses the line since anyone all over the world can read it. Your reputation could be damaged from things like that.””

He added that nothing is removed off the site unless you request it.

“”So basically, if someone posts something on TheDirty and you don’t know about it, you’re screwed,”” he said. 

He sent e-mails to TheDirty.com web-regulator asking to have the post removed from the website.

“”I had to e-mail them twice,”” Saniuk said. “”It took a few days for it to be removed. Honestly, I don’t think that was fast enough.””

Some students choose to withstand the harsh criticism and allow their post to remain on the website.

“”I’ve been on TheDirty twice and I didn’t do anything about it. It’s just stupid gossip,”” Sternberg said.

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