Thursday, July 08, 2010

B@B Offline

It appears that Bored at Baker has been taken down, at least for the time being.

If you're unfamiliar with the site, it allows users to post anonymously about more or less any subject they choose without any moderation of their comments. At Dartmouth discussion has ranged from discussion of which a cappella groups are "A-side" to much less savory material. It might help if you think of the site as a sort of virtual bathroom wall.

Jonathan Pappas, the owner of the Boredat sites (as I understand it, there's one for every Ivy, named for the respective library on campus) has shut them down while he figures out a way to correct the situation, issuing an open call for coders. Why, exactly? Well, to quote the page that B@B's address redirects to:

i have temporarilty suspended boredatbutler and other similar boredat sites. recently it has come to my attention that a small group of people have begun using the sites to target and attack specific individuals. the attacks are not on the community as a whole, rather, they are targeted at specific individuals in a repeated, persistent manner. the attackers post personal information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc) and defamatory statements. i do not condone this kind of activity and never have. since i dont have a solution for this problem right now, like i've done in the past, i've decided to take down the sites for the time being.

on another note, it seems that the community has shifted over time to be about homosexuals looking for anonymous hookups. don't get me wrong: i dont have anything against homosexuality. however, its not what i intended the site to be all about.

i will not allow boredat to exist if these conditions are present:

1. specific individuals can be targeted or defamed repeatly without a proactive way to deal with such incidents.
2. a majority of the "center stage dialog" centers around anonymous homosexual activity.

Hard to see if there's anything surprising about this. It's more or less a proven law at this point that internet+anonymity=jerks and that sites like this tend to quickly deteriorate to the lowest common denominator.

Still, I doubt this is the end for B@B. It's been taken offline before and it seems unlikely that it will be gone for long. Until then, the less savory amongst us will just have to content themselves with scratching obscenities into tables in the stacks.

1 comment:

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