“Untouchable”? Maybe. Unbuyable? Ermm . . .
Peter Frank ’12—the Wesleyan English major who casually purchased college gossip site “Juicy Campus” for five figures his freshman year and redirected its traffic to CollegeACB.com, which he subsequently expanded to over 500 schools (and 20 million monthly page views)—has officially sold the ACB, according to a “Message from Peter Frank” on the “official blog for CollegeACB.com.” The transition is immediate—new managers will be taking over “in the next day or so.” More from Frank’s post:
I want to alert you that I’m selling my stake in CollegeACB, and that new managers will take over control of the site in the next day or so.
I’m proud of the growth of the site under my watch – from use at only a few schools, to the largest college anonymous confession board in the world, with over 20 million monthly pageviews from over 400,000 unique visitors. Mostly, though, I’m proud of the occasions when the site has helped people share feelings and discuss sensitive topics in a sincere fashion that might not otherwise have been possible.
We’ve certainly had our share of controversy, but we’ve responded to users and have deleted over 30,000 posts, while preserving the site’s essential identity as an open anonymous forum.
But wait! There’s more:
I know that the new managers share my goal of raising the level of discourse on the site, and I’m excited to see their progress in the coming months.
Whoah there, man. Back up. “My goal of raising the level of discourse on the site”?? So, like, instead of threads titled “I want to fuck you,” we’ll have more threads titled“I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU”? I’m intrigued—deeply and sincerely—by this previously unstated goal of “raising the level of discourse” on a site that builds its central identity around total anonymity within a small college setting and the near total polemical free-for-all that results, whether it be the uninhibited freedom to confess your eating disorder in an anonymous setting or the sudden ability to gossip, free from social retribution, about all the girls John Doe ’14 has hooked up with.
So how are we going to raise the level of discourse? Are these new managers just going to flood the boards with discussions questions about The Republic? Will they crack down on that totally hilarious guy who trolls every thread with the n-word every fortnight or so? WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY PLAN!?!?
Most of us blush or minimize the page really quickly when someone walks in on our ACB time, as if we’re caught looking at porn. But this isn’t the first time Frank has defended the site as more than a filthy gossip hub. In an interview with TIME last year, he characterized the site as a “student-controlled discussion space where the communities dictate what’s talked about,” and emphasized his willingness to delete offensive posts (to which effect he receives up to 40 requests a day). He expressed no plans for selling the site in that interview, though I suppose it was inevitable.
So who are these new managers anyway? How much—errm,you know—did they pay for it? And what’s in store next for Wesleyan’s own Mark Zuckerberg? Stay tuned next episode on ACB Empire State of Mind!
- Message from Peter Frank
- ACB EXPOSED!!! by Time magazine [Wesleying]
- Colleges Battle Gossip Websites Like ACB, JuicyCampus [TIME]
- Freshman Develops CollegeACB Empire [Argus]
- Social Network Sequel To Be Set at Wesleyan [Ampersand]
[tip via Shoutbox]