If you have lived on a college campus you have probably heard of CollegeACB, or as it is now known, CollegiateACB.
CollegiateACB is an online forum, with individual pages for multiple colleges and universities. The point of the website is to allow for anonymous feedback and insight into a particular school, usually given by its students. However, I have found the website to have been exploited and instead used to bash individual students, Greek organizations, as well as other aspects of campus.
If you log onto CollegiateACB, you will mostly see posts that refer to gossip. For example:
- Who is the best senior girl to hook up with?
- Rank the sororities! Which is the worst one to join?
- Why are there so many (“insert Ethnic group here”) on campus?
As you can see, not only is this website hurtful and embarrassing in itself, but it is also detrimental to the reputation of people and organizations on campus. If a sorority’s so-called “stereotype” is repeatedly broadcast online, their recruitment rate could fall drastically. This can, in the worst scenarios, result in their particular chapter dying off campus because no one wanted to join.
I also had a close friend who read something online about herself that was completely untrue and put a huge damper on her self confidence. The post referred to my friend “being easy” and “spreading her legs for anyone.” The worst part about knowing how false this accusation was fell into the fact that nothing could be done to take that post back. Numerous people replied to the post, asserting its falsehood in defense of my friend, but the damage was done.
Even after college, websites still exist that are meant to share insight and helpful information about particular aspects of certain cities. Various sites like these have popped up, and when you log on you will see adults posting threads that are not too dissimilar from the ones you would see on CollegiateACB. It’s an unfortunate realization that sometimes people never grow out of the temptation to gossip, even after leaving school.
I strongly believe that websites such as these should be shut down. But I know better than to think that’s a possibility this day in age. Websites will always have the ability to take on a new form. For example, our university had the original CollegeACB website shut down and blocked from its WiFi network, and that ban managed to last a year. Then early this summer I came across the new version because people had begun posting the URL to their Facebook statuses and advertising it on new freshmen Facebook groups.
It’s unfortunate that people rely so much on gossip to learn the “real deal” about their schools. The worst part is that it’s really not what they think it is. People are drawn to gossip whether it has validity or not—sometimes they’re even conscious that it doesn’t. It is a side effect of the technologies we have today. Until the creation of these websites is outlawed by national regulations, rather than by private institutions, I think we are stuck. Until then, it will be up to us to resist posting on these hurtful websites and to rely on our common sense when evaluating a group, organization, or fellow human being.