Penn Law Student “Resigns” From Xoxohth

Anthony Ciolli, a Penn law student, founder of Autoadmit/Xoxohth, and recent correspondent with Dan Markel, has resigned from the Board. His announcement:

This isn’t the sort of post I was expecting to make until after graduation, nor is it a post I am particularly happy to write given the circumstances. But unfortunately, it’s something that simply must be done.

This afternoon I was informed about an incident of cyber harassment that took place on Friday by someone purporting to be a member of this community. [A poster wrote and circulated defamatory comments about a Yale Law Student to the YLS community.] Like Jarret, I condemn this incident, and we’re both ashamed and embarrassed that anyone in this community would engage in this kind of behavior. This incident crossed a line for me that simply should not have been crossed, and I cannot remain emotionally attached to a community where these sorts of actions are condoned.

Thus, I feel I have no choice but to resign as Chief Education Director. I will continue to work on other sites with Jarret, and temporarily assist Jarret while he manages my exit, but after what happened this Friday I simply cannot remain involved with AutoAdmit anymore, at least not in its current incarnation.

With regret,


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12 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Unfortunately this sort of harassing behavior, perhaps not quite as bad but much nearly so, has been a regular part of AutoAdmit for a long time. Anyone who has looked at the board for more than a few minutes sees that. There have been extremely unpleasent threads devoted to saying all sorts of nasty things about students and faculty from Penn and other schools many, many times. This is all in addition to the regular posts on such edifying topics as whether “jew bitches gave head to get protein” while in concentration camps and the like. I find the contrition here a bit hard to take given all of that. It seems rather that the heat just got a bit too hot in the end. Good ridence to the place, I say.

  2. hopeful says:

    Are you listening Alberto Gonzalez? This is how resigning is done.

  3. Cynical says:

    Yeah, resign not when you commit the crime, but when everyone starts to take notice of what a miserable human being you are (especially when it might include the people you will work with when you leave the fantasy land of an anonymous message board)

  4. Dan Markel says:


    I wonder if your post now makes clear what my lasting legacy will be to the legal academy…


  5. Jason says:

    Agreed with the above posters that this is a meaningless resignation. If he were truly concerned, he’d fix the thing or shut it down.

  6. LawJoe says:

    Yes, the nexus between being ashamed and resigning as “Chief Education Director” eluded me.

  7. Skeptical says:

    Ciolli gives more details in the same thread. It looks like all he’s doing is excusing himself from further responsibility.

    “As for the board, it’s always been [Jarret Cohen’s] baby and he has always made the policies, so my resignation really shouldn’t have any impact. I’m still going to work on the law firm salary charts and various other things, so I’ll still be around. This isn’t a retirement, just a resignation.”

    As far as I can tell, the only real world effects of his resignation are: (1) he types in an end date next to “Chief Education Director” on his resume, and (2) he has given himself another excuse to deflect blame for all of the garbage that goes on the site.

    Ciolli doesn’t appear to have turned any “duties” over to anyone else, nor has he identified anything he’s been doing that he’ll stop doing in the future (other than accepting responsibility for the site). This strikes me as a ploy, more than anything else.

    Ciolli essentially confirms this elsewhere in the thread:

    Date: March 13th, 2007 4:32 AM

    Author: Great Teacher Onizuka

    Actually it’s probably a lot less vulnerable to a shut down now that a law student has no involvement whatsoever.

    It’s as if Alberto Gonzales kept going to work as usual, kept making the same decisions, kept giving directives to the same subordinates with the expectation they’d be followed….

    … but he stopped taking calls from the press and told people to stop calling him the Attorney General.

  8. Skeptical says:

    The “Actually it’s probably a lot less vulnerable to a shut down now that a law student has no involvement whatsoever.” was a quote from Ciolli’s post, but I misplaced the HTML tag.

  9. INFORMANT says:

    XO is not going anywhere. Cohen will still run the place, and they may even bring in new people. Ciolli will still be involved as well.

  10. Michael says:

    It really sickens me that Anthony Ciolli has allowed all the racist and misogynistic comments on xoxohth to run rampant for all these years. It also disgusts me that Mr. Anthony Ciolli has hardly taken ANY initiative to remove those defamatory comments about his fellow law students.

    If Anthony Ciolli were truly sincere, then he would shut down that sorry excuse of a message board. It has completely degenerated into a cesspool of unapologetic jerks who have no remorse or respect for anybody besides associates/partners at prestigious law firms.

    I hope the New York Bar Examiners as well as any of Anthony Ciolli’s future employers are well aware of Ciolli’s actions which effectively condone defamation and have potentially hurt the careers and lives of several young law students. Mr. Ciolli’s resignation is nothing but smoke and mirrors to try and give the illusion that he is doing the right thing.

  11. shocked and appalled says:

    I am shocked and appalled at the comments on this blog attacking Anthony Ciolli. I hope they have all been properly vetted, because unlike posts on the freeforall AutoAdmit blog, posts allowed to remain on a blog like Prof. Hoffman’s are presumed to be credible. Other bloggers, like Prof. Leiter, rely on the strength of this credibility, and link to these posts in turn.

  12. dave says:

    S&A: Nonsense. I can’t imagine that there is anyone who believes that because comments are allowed to remain up *I* think they are credible. I simply don’t think they are necessarily defamatory or otherwise obscene or gratuitously foolish. That’s a fairly low bar, which all of the posts above manage to pass, though some barely.