Tag Archives: anonymity

Post Creative Classifieds

Anonymous Artistic-type ’12 wants you to post some classified information (kinda):

Need crew for your film? Actors for your play? Musicians for your band? Collaborators for your meta-installation?
Let people know. Post some classifieds here.

[Note: this particular blogger is baffled by the picture submitted. Maybe a ‘meta-installation?’ Feel free to explain it to hir in the comments.]

A note on Wesleying comments

Hey friends,

In the interest of promoting better discussion in the comment sections of Wesleying posts, we’re requiring readers to provide a name and email address with their comments from now on.

We don’t know how you feel about it, but it’s really annoying to read a comment thread (like this one, or this one, or this one) where almost everything is written by “Anonymous”, and commenters have to refer to each other by their posting order or timestamp if they get into a debate or discussion.

As always, we encourage you to use your real name, or at least a consistent nickname, when you comment. You can still be anonymous (well, pseudonymous) – the only difference now is that “Anonymous” won’t be the default setting.

If having to write in a name/email every time you comment is too taxing, feel free to register an account. You can stay signed in whenever you visit Wesleying, and maybe even establish an online identity – an important step towards your Internet self-actualization.

More Ways to Be Anonymous

Apparently the ACB is popular. This is understandable: we long for the days when the internet was a place to be anonymous – now, of course, the very nature of online social networking requires our participation, lest we allow ourselves to be defined by others.

Wesleyan students now have two new options for anonymity online:

Aaron Larner ’08 has started a new ACB for all colleges, called CollegeACB.com (the Wes page is here). He says there are a couple of advantages to the normal ACB, one of which is that all the posts are searchable. Personally I think that takes some of the fun out of it, but for those searching to see if they’ve a secret, anonymous admirer, it may be just the ticket. It can also be accessed from http://wesfessup.com. He also says he is willing to let the users decide whether or not he should place ads on the site, the money from which would then be donated to a good cause.

The ACB chat is back as well, in the form of http://weschat.blogspot.com. Some people liked this, I imagine, but I don’t think it has quite the power of the ACB, simply because it will inherently have less users (since they have to be there in real time).

So for everyone who is feeling a little claustrophobic – get out and be anonymous! But read the NYT article I linked at the top: it’s an interesting study of why we value anonymity so much.

And you thought the ACB was bad…

Have you heard about Juicy Campus?

I hadn’t, until I came across a column in Newsweek’s Education section called “Modern-Day McCarthyism“. In the column, Evan Thomas, a journalism professor at Princeton, compares Juicy Campus to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s smear tactics in the 1950s:

The bullies and gossips have found a way of exploiting a new medium—the Internet—to have their fun. Unlike McCarthy, who craved publicity, the modern-day campus blowhards thrive on anonymity. But they are alike in knowing how to use the medium of the moment to attract large audiences to smear individuals, who have no effective recourse.

What’s Juicy Campus, you ask? Mr. Thomas can explain:

Juicycampus.com, the Web site for campus gossip that urges students to “just give us the juice,” has been popular since it arrived at Princeton earlier this winter. Postings entitled “Most overrated Princeton student” and “Sluttiest Girl,” along with another discussing who was rejected by Princeton’s eating clubs, were viewed more than 10,000 times, according to the school paper, the Daily Princetonian.

From what I’ve seen of it, Juicy Campus is the ACB on steroids.

Check out Juicy Campus and you’ll see what I mean. Select your campus and anonymous cruelty is readily available and easily categorized. Want to read some dirt on your English professor? Click on the Faculty/Administration tab. Smear your enemies on the Students tab, or let loose on the frat that failed to give you a bid on the Greek Organizations tab.

With a single click (on the Virginia Tech page, for example), you can read about how “Kelley F******* is a self-centered whore “. Not enough? Maybe you didn’t know that “DZ girls are SLUTS”:

bottom line is, if you want pussy: go knock at their door. they’re always ‘open’ and i assure you they don’t mind. their argument is: “sure, we’re sluts but at least we’re popular”

After you cut through the talk of pregnancies, penis sizes, and the various venereal diseases of different girls on campus, don’t forget to check out the number of epithets hurled at unpopular professors.

You can even help build community on the site by rating each post’s juiciness!

I guess my biggest problem with this sort of anonymous online gossip is, well… is this not the kind of stuff that encourages people to shoot up their high schools? Or colleges? And what, if any, positive contribution to society can come of this sort of anonymous malice? What light (or rather, darkness) does this shed on the ACB? And on anonymous comments on blogs such as this one?