Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

    JuicyCampus, a Web site that allows university students to post anonymously about life at their univ

    JuicyCampus, a Web site that allows university students to post anonymously about life at their university, has upset several Loyola students due to posts defaming their reputations.

    Since Loyola was added to the Web site about a month ago, posts on the site have suggested the sororities started the JuicyCampus firestorm, but Madeleine Mouledoux, Gamma Phi Beta president and management senior, said there is no reason to place untrue and often harmful things about people on the site.

    “It’s giving sororities especially such a bad name,” Mouledoux said. “And we (sororities) already have such horrible pre-conceived notions about us.”

    Mouledoux said she found out about the Web site last semester from a letter sent to her sorority from Gamma Phi Beta International. Mouledoux said the letter stated no member of the sorority was allowed to write any posts or participate on the Web site. This policy still holds true now.

    Mouledoux said not soon after, one of her sorority sisters discovered there were posts about Gamma Phi Beta and other sororities on Loyola’s campus.

    Members of Delta Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega and Theta Phi Alpha, as well as other students discussed in posts on the Web site, declined to comment about this matter.

    Mouledoux said she was the subject of a JuicyCampus post and finds it more irritating than harmful.

    “It doesn’t really matter because it’s such a load of c—, like all of it, that even if people do look at it, anyone with a half-a-brain would take it with a grain of salt,” Mouledoux said.

    Situations like this have left many students affected by posts on the Web site questioning what legal action, if any, can be taken against the site.

    Mass communication junior Lauren Navarro, Panhellenic president and Maroon contributing writer, said she found out that she was the subject of a JuicyCampus post, just like Mouledoux.

    Navarro said she is now in the process of trying to get Loyola’s administrators to get the university taken off the Web site.

    “Campuses are basically petitioned to see if they would be interested in being on JuicyCampus,” Navarro said. “So if they can be put on JuicyCampus, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to be taken off of JuicyCampus.”

    Members of Loyola’s administration could not be reached at press time Wednesday night to comment.

    Yet, according to Adam Goldstein, a First Amendment lawyer from the Student Press Law Center, it would be very difficult for a university to be taken off of the Web site, and, legally, the university’s name can stay on the Web site, whether JuicyCampus sought permission or not.

    “The argument with the name is that the idea the name is a trademark, and you can prevent from other people using the trademark, the same way Coca-Cola can stop any other cola product from using their trademark,” Goldstein said. “But what they can’t do is stop people from using their trademark ‘Coke’ to refer to Coke. So if I want to make a Web site saying ‘Coca-Cola killed my dog because it got ran over by a Coca-Cola truck,’ they can’t stop me because I’m using Coke to refer to Coke itself. And in this case, JuicyCampus is using the school’s name to refer to the school.”

    The Fair Use Clause, filed under chapter one of the U.S. Copyright Laws, protects such an example. The clause states it is completely legal to use a trademark, or in this case a name, to refer to the name itself.

    Under the “Terms and Conditions” of the Web site, users must agree not to use the site to “violate or solicit the violation of  any applicable local, state, national or international law.”

    According to this condition, anything written on the Web site that is slanderous or libelous is violation of federal law, but Goldstein said most likely none of the content written on JuicyCampus could be considered slanderous or libelous.

     “It would technically be libel instead of slander because it’s written,” Goldstein said. “But in this case, you would need to prove the content written has damaged someone’s reputation, by them losing a job because of the information written. Libel is basically false information that people believe is true.”

    Overall, Goldstein said JuicyCampus cannot be sued or subpoenaed because they are protected under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This Act says that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

    “I have not heard of any successful cases against JuicyCampus,” Goldstein said.

    Mouledoux just wants it to stop. “It’s adding fuel to the fire, and there’s no reason to do it,” Mouledoux said. “No reason.”

    Jaune Jackson can be reached at [email protected]. Chris Jennings also contributed to this article and can be reached at [email protected].

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