JuicyCampus CEO Matt Ivester says it’s because of global economic downturn and not enough revenue. Seems likely. It also seems likely that the mounting debate on colleges whether or not to ban JuicyCampus from the college networks, and attorney general investigations into consumer fraud
may have tipped the balance, so that a 2009 filled with litigation and banning on colleges didn’t seem too appealing. Although Matt Ivester says this is not the case, a few writers think it may be more than economics.
Mark Millan at the LA Times writes:
The social tabloid grew to more than 500 campuses in the year and half since its launch. But the website is closing up shop, citing a lack of sufficient ad revenue and outside funding.
JuicyCampus’ message boards were a hotbed for such crucial college discussions as who is the most promiscuous sorority girl or the hottest waitress at the downtown sports bar, and how to deal with overbearing parents.
Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch writes:
I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the site’s advertising issues stemmed from the fact that it often featured incredibly hateful and mean-spirited content that advertisers were hesitant to be associated with. … In light of the overwhelmingly negative comments found on the site, some schools began banning JuicyCampus entirely…
Ivester may also be growing increasingly worried about the litigation threats the site receives for defamation and libel. Ivester has claimed legal protection, citing the fact that he didn’t author any of the defamatory posts, but he may not be too eager to put those claims to test in court.
JuicyCampus joins TechCrunch’s depressing Deadpool. But before colleges, or students, can relax, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s prediction that new sites will take JuicyCampus’ place seems already well under way (and this time there are pictures).
These developments will continue to create problems for colleges. As InsideHigherEd reports:
Gwendolyn Dungy, executive director of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, said the site presented real challenges for college officials. Administrators were torn between a desire to protect students from cyber bullying, and concerns about censoring free speech, Dungy said.
We’ll look into internet technology, online speech, cyberbullying, and the complex problems they pose for students, teachers and administrators in next week’s blog special: Student Speech Week.