Controversial anonymous gossip site shuts down

CALIFORNIA — After sparking debates at college campuses aroundthe nation about the conflicting rights to free speech and privacy, anonymousgossip Web site will shut down because of financial strains, thesite announced.

“In these historically difficult economic times, online ad revenuehas plummeted and venture capital funding has dissolved,” Founder and CEOMatt Ivester said in an open letter posted on the site.”JuicyCampus’ exponential growth outpaced our ability to muster theresources needed to survive this economic downturn, and as a result, we areclosing down the site as of Feb. 5, 2009.”

The decision to shut down is not related to legal trouble, pulledadvertising or campuses banning the site, an FAQ section of the blog poststates. JuicyCampus will continue to reject requests for anonymouscommenters’ IP addresses without a subpoena.

A forum for college gossip for more than 500 campuses around the nation,JuicyCampus drew criticism for encouraging anonymous — and often vicious — comments about other students. Many private schools banned the site fromtheir campuses, and Tennessee State University became the first publicinstitution to ban the site from its servers in November.

Ivester defended the site as a forum for free speech and said he wouldsupport any TSU student who wished to take legal action against the school forbanning the site. In his open letter announcing the site would shut down with noplans to re-start, Ivester thanked “everyone who has engaged in meaningfuldiscussion about online privacy and internet censorship.”

“JuicyCampus has raised issues that have passionate advocates on bothsides, and I hope that dialogue will continue,” he said.

For More Information: 

  • Undefined attacks: Gossip sites prompt ‘bullying’ crackdown Report, 1/6/2009
  • Tennessee State bans JuicyCampus from campus servers News Flash, 11/21/2008
  • Cutting off the grapevine Report, 5/15/2008