But before I do, I want to post a quick hit about a college-related website that just came to my attention: College ACB (Anonymous Confession Board). I’m declining to link to it, because after spending a little time there, I feel comfortable declaring it a cesspool of sexist/racist/homo- and trans-phobic hatred that deserves only your derision.
College ACB is selling itself as the inheritor to Juicy Campus, which, if you’re unfamiliar, was at least as bad of a college gossip site, focusing largely on campus greek life, and which was shut down early in 2009 for “lack of revenues” (although it might have been sucked back into the bowels of hell). It’s also selling itself as an “alternative” to the superficial, mean-spirited bitchery of other such sites.
Uh-huh. That’s why, when I dialed up my current campus, as well as a couple of my alma maters, I found threads on “Biggest Freshman Slut,” “Which Sorority is the Fugliest?” and “Who HASN’T Fucked [name redacted]?” If this is the “alternative,” I shudder to think of what else is out there. CABC includes every sort of lowest-common-denominator bias, built almost entirely on misogyny: frats are a insulted as “a buncha fags,” and so-and-so is a whorecuntbitch who likes it up the ass, another young woman is ugly or old or stuck-up or a “crackhead hoe” or…jeezus, it’s really nauseating. It makes the blogosphere look positively refined.
Anyway, I didn’t bring this up to confirm you in your despair over “kids today,” but rather to ask those of you who are affiliated with college campuses in the US (I did a cursory search, and it appears to be solely a national phenomenon) to take some action.
- First of all–if this even needs saying–don’t partake in this sort of crap, on this site , or elsewhere. Don’t post. Don’t read (unless you need to, relative to the below). Don’t join, even to defend someone who is being slandered.
- Second, talk to your friends and colleagues about this site, and see what you can do to counter-act it. If you’re part of a gay-straight alliance, or have links to the campus women’s (or men’s!) center, the student activities aboard, or the res-life people: take action. Build some programming around the issues that this site raises. Maybe incorporate it into freshman orientation activities for the fall. If you’re an instructor, maybe there’s a way you can engage some of these questions in your classes. (I’m teaching public speaking again in the fall, and you can bet your sweet bippie I’ll be pulling this in.)
- Third, bring the site to the attention of your school’s administration. I’m not always a fan of the Powers of Admin, but in this case, they need to know. Their students are attacking their schools and each other, very often by name, in a public forum. No one is going to look or feel better as a result of this site, and its in everyone’s interest to see it abandoned or shut down (cue the whining about “censorship”).
Don’t forget: what you do matters. You can make a difference.