March 7, 2008

"It’s a gossip site and we never said that it’s not. I guess we didn’t realize how mean some people can be."

And I guess he did but wants his distance from the ugliness he supports.


rhhardin said...

Does Godwin's law apply to sexual putdown sites, is the question.

Perhaps Hitler is only the best you can do in polite society.

Beth said...

I tend to agree with the president who's quoted as saying more speech, not banning, is the best response. And it's interesting that that the site's owner is making the free speech argument, but warning detractors not to clog the site with their discussions designed to thwart its personal attacks. His free speech passions wane when the speech is directed at him.

john said...


Translated: I'm 18 and this is my second semester in the dorm. We were making out in the hall just before I threw up in the bathroom. When I came out he was screwing with my friend. Now I have this sore on my lip and I cant go outside. I hate him.

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

University President Richard Levin said Thursday that he was unfamiliar with JuicyCampus and the surrounding controversy, but blocking any Web site “wouldn’t be our first instinct of response.”

I like this reponse. Obliviousnous is generally a good way to avoid being bothered by gossip.

Other Yale Administrators don't suffer from such high ideals (my bold, below):

Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry has consulted the University’s general counsel about the possibility of blocking the site from Yale’s network or punishing users who log onto it.

“When you have a forum that’s on the computer, that’s anonymous, that’s the only place where you can say those things without getting punished — it’s a problem,” Gentry said.

...[free speech] protection might not extend to anonymous speech, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said.

Anonymous speech does not enjoy the same protections afforded to other kinds of expression — expression where individuals stand behind their words, by Yale’s policies,” he said.

The official policy does not mention any exceptions for anonymous speech.

Here's the trickle down effect:

“If only bad can come out of something, there’s no problem banning it,” [student Andy Levine] said. “It’s not a free-speech matter.”

Peter V. Bella said...

It is a gossip site. What did people expect? BTW the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy are on there too. If it's OK for good old Uncle Sam, why should Yale be soooooooooooo special?

Anonymous said...

“When you have a forum that’s on the computer, that’s anonymous, that’s the only place where you can say those things without getting punished — it’s a problem,” Gentry said.

I don't know--I find that to be a pretty valid point. Free speech isn't guaranteed to be free of personal consequences. In point of fact, it's generally assumed that the personal consequences awaiting gratuitously offensive speech will temper it into a more universally palatable form. You're free to say what you want in any words you want to use, but with the understanding that 1) your speech may hurt people, and they'll retaliate in kind, 2) third parties will judge you by your words. That's what keeps us polite in most circumstances.

The anonymity of the internet removes those checks. I'm all for anonymity in most cases and don't really have an issue w/ it when you're in a non-localized community or discussing public officials, etc. But the closer you get to naming specific private individuals in specific locations--especially for the exclusive purpose of gossip (or worse)--the more dubious your right to anonymity becomes. I doubt many schools would tolerate a student passing out fliers declaring that another student is a VD-riddled slut, so I don't think it's unreasonable for them to consider punishing students who make the same accusations in other forums.