Blown To Bits

JuicyCampus Blocked at Two Universities

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

Tennessee State University and Hampton University, two historically black institutions, are blocking students’ access to, the leading site for vicious, anonymous gossip about (the sex lives of) college students. The administrators who made the decision cite the Virginia Tech tragedy. One said, “We need to be more thoughtful, and we really need to be more careful in targeting and attacking each other.”

I understand the impulse, but limiting what speech reaches a college campus is not a good idea. The arguments are hard to sustain. The administrator goes on to say, “¬†JuicyCampus gossip blog does not fit with the legacy, spirit, and reputation of Tennessee State University.” Surely true — so will he remove from the libraries works that do not meet that standard? Or filter students’ email to make sure their communications are fitting?

Of course, a blog is not exactly a book and not exactly an email, but can we define the ways in which it’s different that would justify a different standard?

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