In 2008, two college students founded a website they doubtless hoped would become The Next Facebook. In putting out CollegeACB (standing for Anonymous College Board), Andrew Mann and Aaron Larner had created a place for students at a given school to share information about classes, professors, and other aspects of college life, all anonymously. Unshockingly, it soon blossomed into a shit flower on which people artlessly defamed each other (anonymously, of course), more often than not using sex as a bludgeon. By January of this year, according to an outgoing site manager, it had grown to 150 schools and was getting over 20 million monthly page views from over 400,000 unique visitors, making it the largest site of its kind on the net.
The website's effort to rebrand itself into something sounding like the 2001 of 1994, however, came too late to sway several University of Washington sororities, which, as The Daily reported last week, blocked the site from their wireless networks.
"We don't want to be a Big Brother in monitoring what Internet sites someone's using," Mattie Stager, vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Association, told The Daily. "It's really more encouraging people to really consider what it is about and what it's representing, and that we don't want people to be hurt by [the site]."
So what kind of ideas are exchanged on Blipdar? Here is an example. First, to set the scene, an individual we label "Shithead 1" offers the first and last name of a female student, then asks, "thoughts?"
"I fucked her," responds Shithead 2. "gimme five!"
"yeah so did I" responds Shithead 3.
"hell yeah!!! ESKIMO BROS!!! bitch loves that jizz all up in her face..that why they nic named her jizz, but to be honest, i love jizzin on her nice beer belly...awesome!" responds Shithead 2.
"She so hot I don't care I'f she's a slut, I want her to take my jizz in the face too"
says Shitead 4, who gives himself the handle "-a kappa sigma".
"fatty fat fat fat," says Shithead 5.
"FAT," agrees Shithead 6.
"yeaaaah kinda fat. but whatever, puts out and pretty good in bed." responds Shithead 7, thus completing the thread.
So, yeah. Good stuff. How does Blipdar feel about this damaging speech about a named individual by anonymous writers using it as their platform (and the literally thousands of other similarly ugly and personal threads their site publishes, thanks to a murky and ineffective policy for removing such material)?
Under its FAQ, Blipdar explains:
We consider personal attacks vandalism of our property. Although such attacks are almost never illegal, we do not approve of them and wish they would stop. At the same time, we would be concerned if they ever did stop. We want people to be authentic and sometimes people are authentically assholes.
Which leads us to this prediction: Someone is going to sue the shit out of these guys: either a woman who has been defamed, or the family of a woman who has been defamed and who has subsequently killed herself. And they are going to be put out of business.