Colleges Crack Down on

Popular college gossip website is drawing scrutiny from universities nationwide.

The site serves as the largest college anonymous confession board in the world and allows students to post anything they want about their campuses and classmates.

At Drew University this past semester, a 19-year-old freshman was devastated when she saw her name listed under a "fattest people on campus" blog post. After telling her parents, the family attempted to have the post removed, even filing a complaint with the state attorney general.

Colleges now say they're cracking down on CollegeACB.

At Creighton University, in Omaha, Neb., a special committee made up of students, faculty, staff and school vice presidents voted to block the website on their campus server.

"Unlike Facebook and MySpace, we realized this was nasty and wasn't a blog for meaningful conversation," Creighton media relations coordinator Cindy Workman told

Workman says Creighton followed schools such at Pepperdine and Tulane, who also blocked CollegeACB from their servers.

What's new about this current round of protests against the site is that they're coming from college administrators. One student petition has been circulating for close to a year. At James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Va., last May a student started a petition to ban CollegeACB altogether. It's accumulated almost 600 signatures -- the most recent signings coming from students at Pennsylvania State.

"The administration recognizes that both Greek and non-Greek students are not happy with the website and we applaud their efforts in voicing so," said Jill Shockey, news bureau manager at Penn State's public relations department. "We have over 30,000 students in Greek chapters -- it seems some traffic on that website stems from comments about sororities and fraternities."

In February, Drew University president Robert Weisbuch issued an open letter to students, asking them to boycott CollegeACB, stating, "These postings result in fear, anger, mistrust and shame in individuals who are named."

Student Haunted By CollegeACB Taunts

For sophomore Sage Burke-Cabados, he says the taunting on CollegeACB led to his transfer out of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., this year.

"It's one thing to have people say bad stuff about you, but when it's all over the Internet and everyone can see it, I just realized I needed to get away from there," Burke-Cabados told

The 20-year-old health fitness major said classmates would post comments using Cabados's full name, calling him "man whore" and "fag." He says as a photographer he spent a lot of time at social events taking pictures where "everybody knew his name."

"I have a unique name. I think that adds to it -- people can easily remember my name and post it on the site," Cabados said."Sometimes I think to myself, 'If I didn't have that name...'"

They'd even make fun of his fraternity.

"Comments were completely made up -- some of them so outrageous it made me laugh," Cabados said.

Nevertheless, he added, "They liked to hit me where it hurts."

The posts got so bad that he transferred to Central Michigan University to finish school. But even there, he says, the "hatefulness" continues.

"I have to check the site at least once a day," Cabados said. "Every time I turn on my computer I get horrible butterflies in my stomach, wondering if my name is going to pop up.", which stands for College Anonymous Community Boards, was created in 2008 by two Wesleyan and Johns Hopkins students. At the same time, a similar gossip site called was shut down. JuicyCampus's owners then redirected their website's traffic to CollegeACB.

Popular subjects include "scumbags on campus" and "best sorority girls to sleep with." There are even categories that ask for fake IDs and the "best places to buy drugs."

With over 20 million monthly views and 400,000 visitors per month, the site hosts approximately 500 universities nationwide. Their mission statement reads, "We'll be there when you want to write without responsibility. For some of you, it'll be an excuse to be judgmental, petty and mean."

CollegeACB To Become 'More Positive'

Past owner Peter Frank sold the company back in January of this year. The homepage currently says the site is under construction and is "trying to make CollegeACB a more positive and productive place to have anonymous conversations."

After multiple attempts to contact CollegeACB, received no response from representatives of the website.

"They could be re-vamping because of the fire they're under," said Michael Fertik, CEO of "Unfortunately the law gives huge freedoms and protection of websites- no matter how nasty they are."

Fertik's company was a driving force in getting shut down. He says universities need to realize the power they hold in preventing possible online bullying.

"Universities fear they're smothering fuel for free speech, but they can bring a lot of power to websites such as this," Fertik said. "They can block those sites from their college campuses, decreasing traffic flow."

But students say even though traffic flow may decrease, it won't stop peers from posting hurtful things.

"There's no way a gossip website could ever be positive," Central Michigan University sophomore Brooke Wheaton said. "Especially if it's always going to be anonymous -- students aren't going to obey by those rules to stay positive."

Wheaton, who signed the 'Ban CollegeACB' petition two weeks ago, says the website brings fear and stress to her on a day-to-day basis.

"I'm sick of all the slander about my group that's being posted," Wheaton said. "People judge us, call us 'lower tier,' and say hurtful things about us in general."

She says sororities and fraternities are usually the main source of torment, oftentimes resulting in people dropping out of the organizations in order to not be affiliated with the message boards.

"Every time I'm talked about, it makes me feel worthless, especially when it's about my sorority," Wheaton said. "I think it's a form of bullying and makes me feel really bad about myself."

Gossip Site ACB Used By Sororities

And in Texas, some students say CollegeACB is being used as a "rush tool" for Greek life.

"Sororities look at it and see girls' names on it and the 'reputation' they have which may not be true at all," said a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington who wishes to remain anonymous. "[Sorority] cuts are made and hearts are broken -- incoming girls look to it as their source for information."

Psychologist and human sexuality professor at the University of Texas, Nancy Daley, says gossip is a psychological stress reliever.

"It's a subconscious thing -- you do it without even realizing it. Adults want to say what's really on their minds," Dr. Daley said. "If you throw anonymity in there, you start to see people get more hateful and harmful towards others."

Michigan student Cabados doesn't think harmful gossip will end even if CollegeACB changes its mission.

"The horrible comments are still going to be there. The same people are still going to attack others," Cabados said. "I just have to not let it get to me." states on its website, "We aim to protect individuals from being unfairly targeted, but we believe in the open discussion of even offensive ideas on campus." The homepage reads that in the coming months it will allow users to highlight content they like, give users the power to remove content, and "push the culture of the site in a more positive and productive direction."

No word yet on when the newly constructed website will debut. contributor Ashley Jennings is a member of the ABC News on Campus bureau in Austin, Texas.