Juicy Campus: The Latest Breed of Gossip Website


There’s a new breed of gossip website, coming to a campus near you. The site is called Juicy Campus, and it involves students posting gossip about each other at particular college campuses.

As Jessica Bennett writes at Newsweek:

JuicyCampus.com is a rapidly growing gossip site that solicits content with the promise of anonymity. But what began as fun and games—and now has spinoffs on seven college campuses, including Duke University, where it began—has turned ugly and, in many cases, flatly defamatory. The posts have devolved from innocuous tales of secret crushes to racist tirades and lurid finger-pointing about drug use and sex, often with the alleged culprit identified by first and last name.

Some sample recent post titles include:

* most overrated person at duke

* Whos Hot Whos Not.

* hottest freshman girl

* cutest non slutty sorority girl?

* Best BlowJ


* Dumbest Duke Student?


The post titles above are followed by brief posts along with discussion threads containing comments of others. There are many posts about specific individuals, and the comments are crude, foul, and too explicit and offensive to reproduce here. Let’s say this — it makes AutoAdmit look somewhat tame by comparison.

I’m quoted in the Newsweek story, noting that if the law doesn’t change, sites like Juicy Campus will continue on with impunity. That’s because of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) § 230, which immunizes such sites for content posted by others. As I explained in my book, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet:

Unfortunately, courts are interpreting Section 230 so broadly as to provide too much immunity, eliminating the incentive to foster a balance between speech and privacy. The way courts are using Section 230 exalts free speech to the detriment of privacy and reputation. As a result, a host of websites have arisen that encourage others to post gossip and rumors as well as to engage in online shaming. These websites thrive under Section 230’s broad immunity.

Juicy Campus is one of those sites that flaunts its § 230 immunity. From the FAQs:

Is the site really anonymous?

Yes. There is no way for someone using the site to find out who you are. And we at JuicyCampus are not keeping track of who you are or what you post. In fact, we prefer not to know who you are. We like to think that famous people like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce are using our site. We love them…

How do I remove a comment I posted?

You can’t. Once it’s out there. It’s out there. So be careful what you say…

According to the site’s privacy policy:

* It is not possible for anyone to use this website to find out who you are or where you are located

* We do not collect any information directly from you. You’ve never given us your name or email address, and we don’t want it. . . .

* Servers do, as a matter of course, keep logs. This includes geographic information and ip addresses.

— If you are particularly concerned about hiding your ip address, there are several services that offer free ip-cloaking. Just do a quick search on Google and find one you like…

— Note: All that an ip address means is that you (or someone using your connection) were on the site. The logs do not associate ip addresses with specific posts.

JuicyCampus is currently at 7 college campuses: College of Charleston, Duke, LMU, Pepperdine, UCLA, UNC, and USC.

You may also like...

16 Responses

  1. Al Clymer says:

    I agree that this page is horrible. I mean, it doesn’t even have pictures of the hot asian sorority chicks.

  2. Dan– Interesting. There is that line from Judge Steele’s Cahill decision which few noticed; I’ve always wondered whether it would be cited as precedent:

    “Blogs and chat rooms tend to be vehicles for the expression of opinions; by their very nature, they are not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely.”

    (Nice to have met you this past weekend at Yale– I’ll try to avoid applying Judge Steele’s observation to this blog!)

  3. Really anonymous? Doubt it. says:

    According to this cnn.com article, Carlos Huerta, a student at Loyola Marymount in LA, was arrested after officals determined a computer registered to him was used to make threats to shoot as many people as possible on campus before police killed him on juicycampus.com. Didn’t take too long for that IP address to be used to find the owner of the computer…it’s creepy how timely this is.


  4. Bruce Boyden says:

    Re: the Cahill quote, I polled my Internet Law class on that, and the consensus was (unsurprisingly) that it depends on the blog. A post on the New Smyrna Town Blog might be widely dismissed, but readers might reasonably rely on a post on, say, Concurring Opinions. My students seemed to think distinctions are being made, just like they are in print media.

  5. I’m neither a student or a practioner of the law, but as a web publisher I like to be aware of it. So I did analyze the Cahill decision when it came out (linked above), and felt, from my research of online communities, that it was poorly reasoned. At the time I had tried to engage Wendy Seltzer in a discussion of the case, so I welcome the opportunity now. I think it could be relevant to Juicy Campus.

    Ok, I’ll work with your class’s exercise on Cahill. The outcome of the class vote makes sense to me. I curious as to what basis the class had used to make such distinctions.

    Let’s suppose intent.

    The Cahill decision assumed that the very technology chosen (“blogs and chat rooms”) would determine its intent. That’s not very helpful.

    In my own writings I have distinguished between constructive media and social media; the former is where people assemble facts for others to use (e.g., Wikipedia is much more constructive than social).

    So let’s look it at more closely. The “Smyrna blog” in Cahill (actually it was closer to a guestbook utility) was run by a newspaper, presumably for the purpose of constructive civic discourse. Similarly, AutoAdmit has been run with some constructive purpose, to help prospective students with admissions. But Juicy Campus clearly serves no constructive purpose, and thus no one would take any of the assertions seriously. I don’t suppose that a recruiter would easily come across JuicyCampus as they would AA. In fact, wouldn’t you know it, their robots.txt excludes everything. We reputation-supporters should applaud that.

    As with Dan, I agree that “230” shouldn’t be a blanket immunity. Perhaps “community intent” is a better test, and the one that Cahill meant to put forth. Grant that some online communities truly assemble with the intent to cause harm– and that’s what I suggest we watch for with Juicy Campus.

    But this is all based on the community intent hypothesis.

  6. After two minutes on that website, I was able to determine that Juicy Campus’ target audience are douche bags whose maturity peaked in the 10th grade.

  7. Cash Guy says:

    Any estimates on how much traffic Juicy Campus is getting? Because according to the Google PageRank meter, they are a PR0 site.

  8. Rachel Quigley says:

    While the site may be emotionally hurtful to the students who are the target of anonymous posts (usually stemming from misinformation), Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should not be further tailored to target online forums unless we are prepared to enter into an Orwellian society where “big brother” continues to hinder free speech.

    Making tiny fixes will not solve the greater problem here–new forums in new formats will emerge to allow people to express their opinions. After all–isn’t freedom of expression what we want?

    The only solution to the juicy campus issue is to ignore it all together.

  9. anony mouse says:

    A type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) statement about a person that harms the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media — for example, over the radio or on TV — it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience.

    Wouldn’t this website be contributing to this when people are spreading false rumors? Also, people really need to think. Teenage girls are going through a very emotional time in their life. Comments which hurt could lead to very negative effects, possibly including suicide in the worst case. My mom works in a Psych ward, the amount of teenage girls in there is very large. I think this website is a terrible idea and really shows how ignorant the American population is becoming.

  10. Bavarian says:

    Whatever the laws may be concerning the appearance of this (JuicyCampus)and similar sites there can be made one conclusion: The inmates are running the insane asylum.

  11. Aurora says:

    You guys ought to check out something that calls itself The Portal of Evil. They are also a group “whose target audience are douche bags whose maturity peaked in the 10th grade.”

  12. Gunnar says:

    Would any of the legal context change if the forum was regulated?

    For example, if JuicyCampus was actively regulating the site to delete comments that were not inflammatory, while leaving racist and “juicy” posts untouched. I feel that JuicyCampus would then become, at least in an indirect way, an author of the content displayed.

    I do not have any background in law, I just want an opinion from people that do.

  13. Michael says:

    Changing the law will make no difference in such behavior, it never has and it never will. Web sites (as well as printed and tranmitted media) of this lowly stature will continue to flourish so long as there is a ready and eager market for them to exploit.

    It should not be the responsibility of government to teach what is wrong from what is right. Morality must begin being taught at an early age and be constantly taught and reinforced by a persons parents at first and then the world at large through out one’s life.

    The flaw with this is that the world at large does not care two shakes about morality, it cares about anything that makes the reader/viewer feel better about themselves than anybody else. “Well I have problems but just look at this loser! I am way better than him…”

    This desire to be “better” than someone is the base reason that gossip proliferates. In order to change the behavior one must merely change all of mankind.

  14. Meghan says:

    Who really cares? Most college campuses are so big that if more than 10 other people know your name then you have obviously done something to deserve that type of attention(whether it be good or bad). These ‘rumors’ aren’t being made about the students who go to class and go home and study. It’s being made about students who want people to know who they are. Of course there will be bad things said about them. My college has a section on juicycampus and I honestly did not recognize even one of the names that are mentioned on there. The people who do get their names on these sites aren’t ‘victims’. It’s people who want to be noticed. Granted there will be a few post from ex-boyrfriends/girlfriends, and that type of thing about people who nobody knows, but if you win “hottest freshmen girl” or “dumbest at duke” you’ve obviously put your name out there to get attention. So don’t complain when it comes back to haunt you in the form of insults.

    And I really don’t understand why this is bothering people. If it keeps you up at night to know that people think you’re a slut then go back to high school.

  15. Charles says:

    I agree…please continue to write about this…im writing a paper right now for my professor and I need some ideas. Thank you

  16. M.M. says:

    I CARE. I have had horrible untrue things written about me and have not been able to concentrate on school. It consumes my every thought. I feel violated and there is nothing I can do to make it stop. I love college and life and juicy campus has turned my life into a living hell these past three days.