EDITORIAL: A juicy risk

Editorial Board

JuicyCampus, aside from its disparaging and cruel nature, is a perversion of the First Amendment and is a liability to any student who uses it.

The owners of the Web site claim that it was created to offer a forum for students to anonymously exercise their right to free speech. Libel and slander are two exceptions to the amendment, according to our founding fathers, but on JuicyCampus, you are simply free to ignore the law. Accountability evaporates; posters escape the fist of the First Amendment and are free to write the most slanderous and malicious things they wish. It is the equivalent of writing on the bathroom wall, but this time, the wall is visible to the entire free world.

However, if you read the FAQs or the Privacy Policy, this supposed anonymity will not always protect you. Each time you visit the site or post a comment, your IP address, a number which is traceable to your computer and your name, is logged in the database. Essentially, you leave a footprint on the Internet wherever you go. Any court can subpoena this information from JuicyCampus, something which has happened in California and New Jersey already. Title 47 U.S. Code, Section 230 includes a provision that grants a Web site immunity from content posted by users; that is, you are liable for the content you post, not JuicyCampus.

In addition, as a private company, JuicyCampus has the right to change its terms and conditions, as stated on the Web site, and they will if there is a demand to do so. When you visit the site, you agree to their provisions, and JuicyCampus reserves all rights not granted in this agreement. “You agree to use your best efforts to prevent and protect the site from unauthorized disclosure or use,” the site reads. In layman’s terms, you use this site at your own risk.

Employers notoriously check Facebook before hiring a new grad, so what’s to say that Juicy Campus wouldn’t sell the IP addresses from the Villanova Juicy Campus to see if a prospective employee hasn’t committed slander or libel in the past? The point of the site is money generated from advertisements, so you can bet that the creators of the site would protect themselves or their advertisers before they would ever defend their users.

Plain and simple: read the terms and agreements before you even consider posting anything on this ridiculous Web site.