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Colleges Struggling With the Digital Bathroom Wall

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the for-a-good-time-use-google-stall-search dept.

Education 262

theodp writes "Back in the day, anonymous character assassination was confined to permanent marker scrawl in bathroom stalls. But now, thanks to sites like the student-run CollegeACB.com (ACB=Anonymous Confession Board), which can get hundreds of thousands of hits on a good day, TIME reports that anonymous slander is going viral on campus. Even the most elite universities — normally the land of the politically correct — have been struggling with the problem of anonymous gossip sites and their very un-PC posts, which an Amherst dean likens to 'the worst of junior high.' If he thinks things are bad now, wait until the kids start getting creative with Google Sidewiki."

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Anonymous coward posted (3, Funny)

hyperion2010 (1587241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254460)

Welcome to the internet, please enjoy your stay or GTFO promptly.

Re:Anonymous coward posted (2, Interesting)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254840)

It's funny how this particular thread is attracting all the Anonymous Cowards

Re:Anonymous coward posted (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255258)

"Struggling with the problem"

Can someone explain to me what exactly the problem is ? Or is there something about colleges that makes them massively dislike free speech ? Okay, I know profs do, they think they know better and so have the right to force their opinion on others. Which is fine in class, not so fine elsewhere. So why would any rational person find this a problem ?

Re:Anonymous coward posted (3, Informative)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255662)

I'll tell you:
Let's say you are a nerd. You get some verbal slaps from a few dorks, and learn to get along with it in the end. That's life, it can'te be all roses and clear sky for everyone. But while you can grudgingly accept to be called names by a few guys, you would absolutely hate to hear the same broadcasted on the school's radio. Furthermore, you would hate it more to see such aggressive texts written on a website which everyone visits and makes fun of you.
Remember American Pie and the shame of having an embarassing movie about you posted on a website? Now imagine yourself as the guy who gets the shaft.
For weaker people, this might lead to psychological problems and ultimately suicide. And there's your problem right there.

When I read the title.. (2, Funny)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255152)

When I read the title, I envisioned an actual whiteboard on the wall of a bathroom stall that allowed people to write on it. I figured the problems were people using real sharpies on it.

Herpes (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254462)

Soulskill has herpes!

Re:Herpes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254632)

Taco has a penis the size of a cocktail weenie.

Re:Herpes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254734)

so i guess he went through with the enlargement operation

So, it's... (5, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254480)

4chan for Harvard?

Re:So, it's... (3, Funny)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254794)

Jerry Springer for the interwebs

Re:So, it's... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254832)

"4chan for Harvard?"

Lulzworthy!
I favor anything that "helps" the public view graduates of such schools with less respect.

Since the internet rarely forgets, it will be a hoot when some of this comes back to bite the high and mighty as they rise up the political ladder.

Re:So, it's... (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255228)

No. It's the Valley of the Squinting Windows. Technology has brought us right back to the ignorant, vindictive and intolerant society we started out from. The more things change....

futile struggle (4, Interesting)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254488)

Really, it's futile in the long term to try and ban "harassment comments" or whatever you want to call it, unless you want to really compromise free speech and become worse than China. Maybe instead stop being so bloody touchy about stupid things stupid people write? What is it we've told our children for ages - "stop caring, don't give it attention"?

Re:futile struggle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254704)

Hey, there were some comments about you too!
Its very easy to advice others to ignore.

Re:futile struggle (1)

karamarisan (1589783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254738)

Nice try, but it's really not that hard to be unoffended by such comments. Just stop taking yourself so damn seriously.

Re:futile struggle (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254914)

seconded

Re:futile struggle (2)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254948)

I can see both sides of the argument. But I'd say it's a safe bet that most of the people who say "just ignore it" have never been seriously bullied and terrorised in their lives before.

Re:futile struggle (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255446)

We were talking about written, mostly anonymous, comments - beyond that of course there is a point where you cannot ignore things any longer.

Re:futile struggle (2, Funny)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254756)

You're ignoring the vandalism aspect: Anyone who scribbles on the digital bathroom wall deserves a digital swirly!

Re:futile struggle (2, Funny)

symbolic (11752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254842)

That would be an e-swirly.

Re:futile struggle (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254870)

Once Apple finds a way to make the e-swirly look geek sheik, or whatever, they will call it the iSwirly and rake in the profits!

Re:futile struggle (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255316)

Steve Jobs patented the idea way back in high school after an epiphany of sorts in the 3rd floor men's bathroom.

Re:futile struggle (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254866)

Maybe instead stop being so bloody touchy about stupid things stupid people write? What is it we've told our children for ages - "stop caring, don't give it attention"?

That's a nice theory, but it's a really hard thing for people, especially immature people, to do.

Teenagers in particular are extremely sensitive to criticism, and often respond poorly. Spend some time watching the interactions of a group of, say, 14 year-old girls on Facebook. Vicious doesn't begin to describe it. People in general are willing to say things behind the shield of their computer that they would never say face to face. Add to that some low self-esteem and peer approval dependency and you have a recipe for a whole lot of heartache. Kids have always been mean to one another, and always will, but online interaction raises it to a new level.

Kids in college are a little more mature and self-confident, but only a little. And there's a lot of variability, so you can expect these online fora to be filled with the spew of the least mature, the least secure and the most vicious.

It will indeed be interesting to see how society evolves in response. Hopefully we'll all develop a thicker skin and learn to be more forgiving of all sorts of errors. That would be a good solution, and would actually make the world a better place than it used to be. Another possibility is that the next generation is going to grow up almost universally traumatized and defensive.

Re:futile struggle (3, Insightful)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255004)

Kids have always been mean to one another, and always will, but online interaction raises it to a new level.

I don't particularly think it "raises the level", but I'm sure that it (the online-ness) makes things much more visible to adults - which is of course when they become horrible. (Mind, I for one think this is horrible in general but in particular cases I'm of course not horrified by things of which I'm unaware). Parents, guardians, schools, etc. must combat this problem exactly the same way as before - by taking time with their children, individually, not by spying or censoring public forums.

Re:futile struggle (3, Insightful)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255268)

Adults do it too, the only reason it becomes "horrible" when kids do it is because kids tend to be less discrete so it become EMBARRASSING. Otherwise I don't think most adults would care.

Re:futile struggle (5, Funny)

Sheen (1180801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255050)

You spend time watching 14 year old girls, on facebook?

Re:futile struggle (2, Interesting)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255306)

Another possibility is that the next generation is going to grow up almost universally traumatized and defensive.

I sure hope so! Then those with any degree of emotional fortitude will have all the greater advantage because of their willingness to take more social "risks". Success and greatness will come to those who risk, even more so than before because of all the opportunities not being taken advantage of by the cowards. A greater separation (in terms of control of the direction of energy of society) will develop between those who face life boldly and those who whimper at a cross glance, and greater advancements will be made, especially in the sciences - where boldness has driven the greatest discoveries for hundreds of years.

Without this kind of strength of character, and thick skin, would Michelson and Morley have rigorously repeated their experiments despite the criticism and ridicule they received in fighting the establishment when it came to the existence of aether? Would Einstein have faced the criticism/ridicule of most of academia by trying to destroy the absolute space of Newton (if you think Einstein was immediately acclaimed/well-received you need to brush up on your history)? Galileo? Copernicus? The scientists who make the greatest discoveries are often doing so in the face of the established academic thought. It takes a thick skin to be able to live this kind of life, and not be intimidated by thousands of your peers criticizing and mocking (scientists can be mean too) you.

Re:futile struggle (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255328)

Spend some time watching the interactions of a group of, say, 14 year-old girls on Facebook. Vicious doesn't begin to describe it.

Back when I was in school, women were bitches the old-fashioned way - behind each other's backs, and occasionally in shouting matches at the park across the street from the school.

I'm 23.

These newfangled digital bitches don't hold a candle to their ancestors. Excuse the gender-specific term, but they just don't have the balls. I recall one girl talked smack about another and she got her head put into the driver's side window of a parked car. A fucking window!

I'll bet most of these girls can't throw a punch nowadays either.

Re:futile struggle (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255252)

"Really, it's futile in the long term to try and ban "harassment comments" or whatever you want to call it, unless you want to really compromise free speech and become worse than China."

Sure, because making infantile comments about other people is just as important as being able to speak freely about your government's policies.

Re:futile struggle (3, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255626)

Sure, because making infantile comments about other people is just as important as being able to speak freely about your government's policies.

The entire point of free speech and all human rights is that they can't be categorized as more or less important. Once you start making them relative to each other, you enter the realm of what is often called 'the tyranny of the majority' whereas if the majority decides that your right is unimportant, or unacceptable, it vanishes.

This being said, libel is illegal and if you are a victim of it, you are well within your right to take your case to court. I think society would work better if we maintained that libelous statements must be false though.

Re:futile struggle (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255574)

What is it we've told our children for ages - "stop caring, don't give it attention"?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me

PC, huh? (2, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254498)

Political Correctness is just a new version of Politeness. Those who make sad and angry noises about PC are just upset that their version of PC is out of style. Perhaps they were Emily Post fans.

We now frown on slurs and other degrading language where once that was celebrated. We now allow discussions of topics in public that were once forced by the Olde PC to be kept private to the determent of those who needed the topics aired.

When someone complains about 'PC' they're just complaining that THEIR version of right/wrong in public has been pushed out by the majority.

Re:PC, huh? (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254522)

Or perhaps people still don't like other people behaving like asses? We were raised (well most of us) to treat each other with at least civility. It grates when you read or see something like that. That's the whole idea of peer pressure.

I wish they'd do away with anonymous for trivial/unimportant information posts. It serves no purpose other than to bring out the juvenile in everyone.

Re:PC, huh? (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254582)

And who is going to determine that a post is trivial / unimportant ?

The fact that Jenkins expresses a sexual preference for the dead is perhaps a valid and important fact for other people to be made aware of, especially if he is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Embalming.

And really, kids start calling each other names in the kindergarten playground. Why does the fact it is posted on the internet make it any more important. Just because it's exposed to perhaps a wider audience doesn't mean discerning people can't simply ignore it for the puerile drivel it is. The only people who will get upset are those who *always* get upset, and there's no helping them anyway, oversensitive bunch of pussies that they are.

Re:PC, huh? (4, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254998)

Hey, I'm an oversensitive pussy, and I find your post extremely offensive and wrong.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255270)

Nice to meet you Mr. pussy. I've never seen that part of the body type before. How do you do it?

Re:PC, huh? (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255116)

I wish they'd do away with anonymous for trivial/unimportant information posts. It serves no purpose other than to bring out the juvenile in everyone.

And who is going to determine that a post is trivial / unimportant ?

The author. If you're not anonymous, you're less likely to post trivial crap like "Davee is teh gaye!!11!!" It becomes self censorship, mostly because you want to keep posting, and don't want to get banned.

The flip side is that anonymous lets people post useful stuff that they shouldn't for other reasons. While you may (or may not) find the position distasteful, our form of government is composed of everybody, including drunks, racists, gays, junkies, and whoever else. Today it would be political suicide to say "we should have a holiday to celebrate the rise of the Third Reich." But if you truly believe it, an anonymous outlet lets you do just that. If enough people agree and build up support, over time your issue can come out of the closet, and you don't have to be anonymous anymore.

That's a horrible example, of course. A real example is to anonymously write "The King is a Tyrant!" until you get enough people to foment a revolution. And we don't have a king anymore, thanks to the anonymous writers and revolutionaries. Thus anonymous speech holds a significant place in our system.

Re:PC, huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255260)

(Today's "look it up" word is: foment [wiktionary.org] )

There are other important reasons for anonymous speech: I am more than willing to stand behind what I'm writing here, but I want you to answer me here, based on my arguments in the current context, instead of taking my arguments out of context and using them to discredit me that way. I also do not want to be reduced to my current point of view. Published information is archived everywhere, but the mode of communication on message boards is more like oral conversation. I might express opinions that I revise, even as a consequence of the discussion, but a search engine will always bring back my old opinion.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255292)

"Davee is teh gaye!!11!!"

It's OK. Dave and his friends don't speak jive .. ah I mean leet.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255158)

The wider audience also includes HR and executives vetting for jobs, internships, potential future college admissions, and so forth.

Re:PC, huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254546)

The name "political correctness" implies the two bad attributes of the phenomenon: That it's political and that it claims to be correct (without justification and in a field with many differing perspectives). Politeness often also has these attributes, but the realization that a new behavior is in some way similar to an old behavior which one didn't question should not compel anyone to agree with the new behavior in spite of better knowledge. PC is a limitation on discussion and therefore a limitation on thinking, which is unacceptable. So fuck you.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255390)

The name "political correctness" implies the two bad attributes of the phenomenon: That it's political and that it claims to be correct (without justification and in a field with many differing perspectives).

I've never interpreted it this way; i always took it as "something correct in the political sense", using the broader definition of "political".

Re:PC, huh? (1)

Alpha Soixante-Neuf (813971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255530)

There are larger uses of the term that do end up with the limitations you're talking about and I'm all for calling that out, but I do think there is a place in culture to choose to use new definitions for groups/ideas/whatever that try to peel away hurtful histories that make free and open discussion more difficult, specifically for the historically denigrated groups/ideas.

Having an unpopular opinion is not un-PC, even when it's crazy racist or bigotted. We have words that define those things already. PC is simply about acknowledging that language has history and there are times, if for nothing else than for expediency, when certain terms have to be collectively chosen which allow people to reference things without immediate negative connotations. Now, my PC definition may not be what you were talking about at all, but I wanted to point out there is a concept of PC that does not limit what you can talk about it. Its intention is merely to create a framework whereby everyone feels comfortable participating. I would call this Democratically Correct rather than political, as its intention is to give access to every individual to a larger discourse, but Political is fine. This too can be taken too far and I'm the first one to point that out 'cause my language choices are not always unoffensive to everyone (I'll say fuck as much as I like god damn it!). Stll, where there is an extremely sensitive subject, I am more than willing to at least attempt to find the terms that no group involved will be instantly put-off by so that everyone can access the ideas.

Now this has nothing to do with college kids or any kids making fun of each other, so I'll shut up now.

No you are wrong. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254604)

Complaints about PC are generally not about any version of right or wrong. They are complaints about being required to use, or avoid, language, which it is claimed might offend someone.

I don't care what language you use and do not want to restrict your use of any particular words. You might care what language I use and seek to impose restrictions. Those two approaches are not equivalents and PC falls into the latter.

Just because two people disagree, it does not mean that both views are equal in some way.

Re:No you are wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254864)

They are complaints about being required to use, or avoid, language, which it is claimed might offend someone.

In other words they are complaining about being polite.

its always ifwm when the subject is "you're wrong" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255162)

Aw boo hoo. It is not at all about "forcing" any kind of "restrictions" on your speech. But if you are rude and offensive, you shouldn't be at all surprised that you get called for being a rude ignorant twat. What exactly is the problem with that? You want to be able to say whatever you like, but others are not allowed to comment on that speech? If you talk like a cunt, people will call you a cunt, so cry me a river.

Re:No you are wrong. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255450)

you mean language like saying "happy holidays" then being accused of personally crucifying the baby jesus because you didn't say "merry christmas"?

the biggest PC whiners these days are the right wing fundies.

Re:PC, huh? (5, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254628)

That depends on what you consider to be PC or un-PC.

Bill Cosby said some things about his community a while ago that was very un-PC, but he felt it needed to be said. White people have said the same things before (as well as less prominent Blacks) but were then called "racist" or "bigots", then ignored and in the meantime, the problems in the community continued. Of course, all of those problems were always blamed on others and never on the community - ex. not getting education because it was a "white" thing and then being angry and pissed when the only jobs they can get are janitors which then lead to more rancor and beliefs about being oppressed and what not.

And it's not only the African American community it's across all racial and religious lines . Although, it's just that it's PC to say anything about white males.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255658)

I'm not PC, I'm Mac!

Captcha: figures

Re:PC, huh? (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254640)

Political correctness is nothing but a bunch of random rules of communication setup as a system of traps for people who dare speak their mind. It doesn't make any sense except to derail communication from its intended purpose.

When you get white Americans calling European nationals who happen to be black 'African Americans' it's gone too far.

Re:PC, huh? (2, Insightful)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254848)

I am very interested in seeing an example of an American calling a European national 'African American.' I am not doubting you or anything, I'd just like an example to show others.

Re:PC, huh? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254970)

I am very interested in seeing an example of an American calling a European national 'African American.' I am not doubting you or anything, I'd just like an example to show others.

Haha, and sorry nothing citeable here because I'm going to post anonymously for this but I have a black African friend who punched an American who referred to him as "African American" [in UK btw]. What a day that was, sigh..

Re:PC, huh? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255134)

I've heard of the issue. If you were truly interested you would have gone to Google. Another one is whites born and raised in South Africa wondering if they should check the "African American" box on forms here in the States. Blacks immigrating from Haiti or elsewhere in the Caribbean run into a similar puzzler.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255194)

The European version of Fallout 3, specifically the one released in the UK and Ireland, had three starting options for race in character customisation

1) Caucasian
2) Asian
3) African American

The minute we started the game, everybody had a good laugh about typical American ignorance. None of us were black, but I'm sure anyone in the UK who was would probably be fairly irritated by that designation. It didn't even stop there. In the UK, "Asian" refers predominantly to people south asian descent, the subcontinent. "East Asian" refers to people of Chinese or surrounding regional descent, this is what Americans refer to as "Asian".

I believe Maddox [thebestpag...iverse.net] had something to say on this very topic not so long ago.

Re:PC, huh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255272)

The European version of Fallout 3, specifically the one released in the UK and Ireland, had three starting options for race in character customisation

1) Caucasian
2) Asian
3) African American

The minute we started the game, everybody had a good laugh about typical American ignorance. None of us were black, but I'm sure anyone in the UK who was would probably be fairly irritated by that designation. It didn't even stop there. In the UK, "Asian" refers predominantly to people south asian descent, the subcontinent. "East Asian" refers to people of Chinese or surrounding regional descent, this is what Americans refer to as "Asian".

I believe Maddox [thebestpag...iverse.net] had something to say on this very topic not so long ago.

To be fair, the whole game takes place in the former United States. Thus, the 'american ignorance' is quite correct to the game itself.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255276)

The minute we started the game, everybody had a good laugh about typical American ignorance.

Which only proves your own provincialism, because it wasn't ignorance at all. It was political correctness. The game makers deliberately used the term "African American" because all the alternatives are seen as offensive by some people. It might not even be incorrect; is the character supposed to be American?

In the UK, "Asian" refers predominantly to people south asian descent, the subcontinent. "East Asian" refers to people of Chinese or surrounding regional descent, this is what Americans refer to as "Asian".

Well, we used to refer to the "East Asian" types as "Oriental", with "Indian" being for that subcontinent, but someone got their back up about that term (which simply means "eastern", of course... the usual whine is that "oriental" refers to rugs, not people. The rugs in question are mostly Persian, whose people we would refer to as "Iranian" or "Middle Eastern", not Asian), and that's now Politically Incorrect.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255216)

ESPN [gelfmagazine.com] did it, and there are plenty of others.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255280)

If you're interested in an example that you can pass out as information then here is a very well documented one: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7567291&page=1 [go.com]

If you're looking for an argument you'll have to go elsewhere.

Re:PC, huh? (5, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255634)

I don't have a primary source for this because it was supposedly on TV, but apparently there was a conversation between an American reporter and black British athlete Kriss Akabusi that went something like this:

"So, Kriss, what does this mean to you as an African-American?"

"I'm not American, I'm British"

"Yes, but as a British African-American ..."

"I'm not African. I'm not American. I'm British."

Re:PC, huh? (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254886)

I disagree. While I think some political correctness is over the top, it seems that its intent is to prevent people who don't think, or who refuse to think, from hijacking communication with simple stereotypes. Simply relating PC to a means of prohibition is failing to acknowledge that what people say is largely dependent on their level of awareness, and can range anywhere from the truly insightful, to the frightfully ignorant.

Re:PC, huh? (3, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255010)

Political correctness is just an impossible game of cat-and-mouse using weird terms until the terms become popular and you have to use newer ones, making reading older texts on subjects like psychological disabilities impossible. When you get streaks of renaming like mongolism -> Down syndrome -> trisomy 21 and stupid -> mentally retarded -> mentally challenged -> differently abled (or whatever the current one is) communicating becomes a nightmare.

Re:PC, huh? (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255364)

When you get white Americans calling European nationals who happen to be black 'African Americans' it's gone too far.

Exemplified by the brilliant satire of Sacha Baron Cohen, in Brüno:
Brüno: There's a lot of African Americans in Africa!
African-American Lady: No! There's a lot of Africans in Africa!
Brüno: That's racist!

Re:PC, huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254664)

>When someone complains about 'PC' they're just complaining that THEIR version of right/wrong in public has been pushed out by the majority.

Or, they're just pissed off because perfectly good words are being ruined by less-accurate words, or made up nonsense words.

Examples:

The genderless way of saying a car is owned by a single person: That car is his.
The genderless way of saying it now: That car is theirs.
How many people own the car now? At least two, according to any decent dictionary. Accuracy (and, quite frankly, grammar) has been sacrificed in the name of PC. That's bullshit.

The genderless way of saying the person running a board of directors stood up 50 years ago: The chairman rose.
The way we say it now: The chair rose.
Accuracy, again, has been sacrificed in the name of PC. I now have to imagine a supernatural event occurred in the boardroom due to the lack of information on how the structure built for sitting rose (Perhaps there was a strong draft?). That's bullshit.

The genderless way of saying someone a group of workers entered a covered street level maintenance shaft, 50 years ago: Workmen entered the manhole.
The way we say it now: Workers entered the maintenance hole.
Accuracy, again, lost, but I will say that "workers" is a reasonably accurate substitute for "workmen", and is one of the few cases where the PC movement didn't ruin the language. Manhole clearly implies a covered maintenance shaft in the street. A maintenance hole could be any hole, anywhere, that permits maintenance. Perhaps the workers ate the blue mushroom and managed to fit through the hole for my car's dipstick? Bullshit.

I'm still waiting for someone to ruin the genderless word "Mantrap".

Note to those that don't believe me: Grab a decent dictionary (OED would be a start) and look up the words "Man", "His", "Men" and other words you have been incorrectly taught always imply gender and open your mind. They only imply gender if the circumstances suggest they should, such as "He entered the men's washroom", or "Billy gave his candy to John". When they are said in a more general form, eg: "All men are created equal", they are genderless. I know, I know, and I agree, it sucks that English is ambiguous like that. However, introducing FURTHER inaccuracies into the language for the sake of making people feel better about ambiguous language is just plain stupid.

Re:PC, huh? (1)

Aris Katsaris (939578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255074)

"Manhole clearly implies a covered maintenance shaft in the street."

To some it may clearly imply a male anus instead.

Your argument is bull. The singular "they" has a historical existence of centuries, going at least back to Shakespare. And yet you are seriously arguing that to describe a potentially female owner with "his" is more accurate? Sheer nonsense.

"When they are said in a more general form, eg: "All men are created equal", they are genderless."

And for you to claim that this sentence was genderless is also bullshit. Anyone remotely aware of history knows that it was NOT meant genderlessly.

Re:PC, huh? (5, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254740)

Political Correctness is just a new version of Politeness

Political Correctness is not polite. In fact, it is the opposite. PC speak at its core is about deception, and as such is one of the greatest forms of insult to any listener that can read between the lines.

Re:PC, huh? (3, Insightful)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254754)

The difference is that politeness is a style that evolved naturally. Political correctness is an invented newspeak.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254912)

Boy, you just tarred yourself with your own brush.

How do you know your version of "Politeness" is any better than theirs?

You now celebrate slurs and degrading language that were once frowned on. You now forbid discussion of topics that were once allowed.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Now, get off my lawn!

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254962)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGAOCVwLrXo

Re:PC, huh? (0)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255016)

No,PC was just the latest incarnation of the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have then do unto you, and all that socialist new age radical thinking.

Some might think fag, feminazi, devil worshipper, traitor, and all those names are all in fun, but ask yourself if you like to be called names. Even Rush,that bastion of free speech, has gotten to the point where he can no longer has the courage to stay in the kitchen [foxnews.com] . Some of y'all may say that the truth matters, but really, what is the slogan, we report, you decide?

In any case,insulting professors and teachers is not a huge thing. It is really a response to the perceived powerlessness that the adolescent, and too many adults, feel in response to an authority figure. It is the only way that these people know to react. They do not yet have the maturity, or intellegence, to know how the world works. For instance in High School and college they are rules, and one can do well by following the rules and learning. Yet most in high school, and too many in college, still see grades as arbitrarily given by the authority figures. This then leads to comments made our anger and ignorance.

College is supposed to help people move beyond such lack of control. Understand that by planning and research on can have some control. That one does not have to react,but can in fact somewhat deterministically act to maximize one's own position, instead of always maximizing other's position. One expects maturity to help everyone else. Unfortunately, college, maturity,even the holy scripture, cannot stop the name calling that has seems to characterize certain parts of our media.

Call it PC or whatever. It is simply matter of proper social behavior. Some people got it. Others don't.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255304)

In any case,insulting professors and teachers is not a huge thing. It is really a response to the perceived powerlessness that the adolescent, and too many adults, feel in response to an authority figure.

Try "actual powerlessness".

Uh, no, not really (4, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255032)

Have you been encased in a cement bunker for 20 years? "PC" is not just about avoiding overt insults or, say, the fact that we have condom ads on television now with a guy getting his junk buffed in a wind tunnel. When recent polls in the polls in the UK indicate that 80% of the population is tired of political correctness, you have a real problem, not a generation gap.

When people complain about PC, they mean the sort that causes valid or even scientific discussion from even taking place because some hypersensitive miseryshit somewhere might be offended.

It's the sort of PC that chastises a kid in a Halloween pirate costume for wearing an eye patch because it's offensive to the disabled. Oops, I mean differently-abled! Sorry! Don't sue me for causing emotional distress, please! It's curious they never seem to ask an actual other-abled person. No, wait, "other" sounds exclusionary doesn't it? Argh! The low seas of PC be treacherous, me mateys!

Political correctness also seems to be covering hypersensitivity to safety, so you have it applied to cases where trapeze artists are required to wear hard hats or the Army is told to make their training courses safer to the point of, well, pointlessness. That seems odd to me, but the street finds its own uses for words, much like hacker is used in place of cracker by the general population. Language evolves- deal with it.

Re:PC, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255296)

You sound like a fattie.

Kids are bastards (1, Funny)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254568)

Just give them the cane some more until morale improves!

Just another prime example of why anonomize (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254570)

Remember back in the day when the internet was for good? It was developed to exchange ideas between thought provoking people in an effort to enhance our way of life and understanding of it. Not now baby, WOOO! Its high school schoolyard antics with a twist... no one knows that you, the bully, are doing the bullying. So now you cant get jacked in the jaw or counter harassed because your life is worse than those you are making fun of. No consequences baby... WOO! Anonymous has its place in society, but this is just abusive.

Lawsuit waiting to happen? (1)

Captain Vittles (1096015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254646)

Won't this problem be solved by an inevitable lawsuit? I'm hardly a lawyer, but this kind of thing sounds like libel to me. Even if the victim can't find out the identity of the bully, can't they at least go after the people who provided the public forum for the bullying? I'm not just asking rhetorically; I'm genuinely interested in an answer.

Consumers Guide to MIT Men (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254656)

This is hardly a new problem. Check out the old "Consumers Guide to MIT Men", a 1970's rating book for MIT men in bed designed to mock the rating guides for easy lays published internally by the fraternities of the day. Sadly, the book failed to mention that the authors were sleeping with drunk boys from the "Strat's Rat" bar at MIT, where the high male/female ratio and cheap liquor contributed to their research.

They tried to censor that, too. And make no mistake: the great desire of university publicity departments and administrators is to shut down such documents, not to prevent slander or libel. We need to be very careful about what actually gets blocked: anonymous has a long, proud history in the US dating back to Thomas Paine and the Federalist papers, and the courts are quite aware of how chilling of free speech even mild restraints can be. The anonymity is critical to protect people from repercussion: www.wikileaks.org is critical proof of this, and I highly recommend it for people to see how amazing the information their bosses and newspapers and governments don't publish really is.

Juicy is gone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254666)

hmmm juicy campus ran out of money and shut down so why the big push to discuss this now?

Since noone posted this yet... (4, Insightful)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254670)

I'm so going to whore karma with this obligatory Penny-Arcade reference [penny-arcade.com] .

Mod redundant at will.

Re:Since noone posted this yet... (2, Funny)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255142)

and then Halo 2 came out and showed how much worse it is when everyone has voice chat.

Though fucking noogies. (2, Interesting)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254732)

Freedom of speech wears-out only if you don’t use it.

— Maurice Maréchal, founder of the satirical french weekly “Le Canard Enchaîné [wikipedia.org] “.

Real reason for their objection? (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254752)

What's the real reason for the schools' objection to it? I always thought it was because it destroyed school property. If it's virtual, then as a student you have to seek it out to see it, rather than seeing it in the bathroom stalls whether you like it or not. Sounds like it was really about control. They want control over what students say to each other at all times. Heaven forbid students organize in various ways without permission.

Re:Real reason for their objection? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255202)

No. They want control over what outsiders can see their students saying. They don't care what their students do, (in fact they condone much of it), they care about their image.

There need to be noise filters... (1, Interesting)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254776)

on anything that is driven by user content. Unmoderated content is simply useless and the more inter-connected that user accounts become, the better. A cross-site karma system would be excellent, eventually anyone who doesn't want to have to read shit from every moron with a keyboard won't have to. If karma could be propagated across news-sites, IMDB, /., etc. and linked into everyone's Facebook, we'd be better off. I just don't read unmoderated, anonymous content; it's worthless. There will always be fuckwads (sorry, reference to the Penny-Arcade comic another commenter posted) on the Internet, but it doesn't mean we can't flag them as not worth listening to.

Nothing has changed (1)

incongruency (1683022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254818)

Really, consider the fact that what is going on here is nothing more than the same gossip from before, but now in electronic format.

People talk, people gossip, people are social creatures, and as it often appears to be, people are cruel. Just because someone wrote a comment about you on some internet 'bathroom wall' or even a real bathroom wall doesn't mean you have to do anything about it, or even recognize it. In both cases, the anonymity of the posting is its very downfall. On the other hand, if you have people outright spreading gossip and clearly linking it back to themselves (the real-world equivalent of saying "yeah, I wrote that"), then the problem is more pronounced, but still the same as before. You can deal with gossip if you know who starts it, or you can deal with gossip by ignoring it.

If colleges can't teach to their students that gossip is best ignored, then we have more things to worry about than the gossip itself.

related study (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254844)

A related study has revealed that the most common phrase scribbled on the digital bathroom wall is "For a good time call NTP". Close runners up were enumerations of operating systems that blow, comments on head and tail etc.

oh no... it's up on slashdot now? (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254880)

FTFA: "ACB logged a record 480,000 hits in one day in early November"

Maybe today will break that record, with it posted up on slashdot now...

If it does, at least I know I contributed! Haha!

Sooner or later the law will catch up if necessary (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254902)

If this becomes a big enough problem, states, and later Washington, will pass laws reducing privacy protections for slander.

If this problem gets bad enough, here's how I think it will wash out in 5 or 10 years:

*A claim of slander against a "John Doe" will have to convince a judge there is merit
*The court will consider any obvious mitigating circumstances
*If the request is granted, a subpeona will be issued but the results will not be available to the suing party until the target has had a reasonable chance to quash the subpeona under a pseudonym and other privacy protections
*Reasonable grounds for quashing would include anything that suggests the free-speech, privacy, and other rights of the speaker outweighted the rights of the aggrieved party
*Judges would be encouraged to nip abusive or malicious John Doe lawsuits in the bud

If things don't get bad enough, you won't see wholesale action in the halls of Congress or state legislatures, and schools will have to continue to address this internally.

Dilemma (4, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30254918)

It's a dilemma inherent in our choices of technologies.

If we allow anonymity, people will
(a) Use it for good: whistleblowing on evildoers;
(b) Use it for evil: anonymously libelling the innocent;

If we prohibit anonymity, people will
(a) Use it for good: standing by their assertions;
(b) Use it for evil: track every word you say, stifling whistleblowers and witnesses.

There is no right answer. There are only choices between problems.

Re:Dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254966)

I think we need *more* anonymous libel, not less. Everyone should be continually accused of utterly illegal, unlikely, or impossible things.

The objective? Overwhelm people unable to judge evidence and the reputability of a speaker. After those idiots spontaneously combust, the world will be a much safer place.

First option is best (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255150)

The first one is obviously the best choice. I'd much rather have to deal with being slandered than have whistleblowers stifled. Hell, you get used to being slandered way early on in life, that's practically what elementary and high school are anyway. It's just now the teachers are taking exception to when it's done to them and not the kids.

It's been around for awhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30254980)

.. go to Rutgers and pick up a copy of the Medium. Free classified ads to all Rutgers students, no content restrictions, talk whatever kind of trash you please. Most things were along the lines of 'To my damn roommate - take a shower sometime this week and stop whacking off at 3am", or "To the girl in my Wed. night geography class, that sits in front with the red hair, you're such a bitch..", etc. Now, the Medium has its detractors, but does printing these comments on paper somehow make them more legitimate or deserving of protection?

Fascinating, stupid, and terrible for privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255054)

I went to the page for my alma mater. I wonder, were people this stupid when I was there? A lot of stupid crap, but at the same time, I can't stop reading. It's like a window into the mind of a dumb college kid.

But... This actually strikes me as really bad. I hope their robots.txt is such that Google is not indexing them. I saw a lot of people trash-talking folks by name. I wouldn't want to be applying for a job, or say, entering a career in politics, and have a Google hit for my name saying "she's such a dirty slut", or "omg i hrd he his penis is {x} inches". What I saw ranged from slanderous to highly personal, and these college kids probably aren't thinking of the consequences of what they write.

Digital Bathroom Wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255062)

is there a digital urinal as well? I need to take a piss...

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255098)

Oh no, kids are making fun of you. Jeez, get over it, teachers have had to deal with this kind of crap forever. Why seek it out? Just don't read it or pay attention to it.

The world's not "PC" (2, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255250)

The worlds not PC, so they can get as up tight as they want about people writing what they feel but in the end they have to grow up and realize that the world isn't Politically Correct.

Are they trying to install search into my firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255298)

Did anyone else get this error?

ASSERT: *** Search: _installLocation: engine has no file!
Stack Trace:
0:ENSURE_WARN(false,_installLocation: engine has no file!,2147500037)
1:()
2:()
3:()
4:epsGetAttr([object Object],alias)
5:()
6:SRCH_SVC_getEngineByAlias(CollegeACB.com)
7:getEngineByAlias(CollegeACB.com)
8:getShortcutOrURI(CollegeACB.com,[object Object])
9:([object KeyboardEvent])
10:anonymous(textentered,[object KeyboardEvent])
11:fireEvent(textentered,[object KeyboardEvent])
12:onTextEntered()
13:handleEnter(false)
14:onKeyPress([object KeyboardEvent])
15:onxblkeypress([object KeyboardEvent])

Looking over CollegeACB.com... (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255362)

Looking over the posts for my school at CollegeACB, they're all either spam or moronic chest-thumping about whose fraternity is better and which sorority is hotter. Why does this not surprise me?

Not what i was hoping for (1)

Hrungnir (682279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255490)

From the summary i was hoping for a board full of life-ruining gossip and insults to get some Schadenfreude out of it. But noooooooooo, its just full of 'Sorority Rankings' and 'Frat Power Ranking' threads. Also theres the occasional, 'hottest people of greek life' thread. But in reality i suppose i shouldn't be surprised that its a community of greeks, i should have picked that up from the 'worst of junior high' part of the summary

Untouchable? (4, Insightful)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255526)

Owner Peter Frank, a sophomore at Wesleyan University... runs ACB out of his dorm room. The 19-year-old English major... "I'm untouchable," he says.

You don't sound untouchable Pete, you just sound stupid. Especially after letting time.com publish your full name, picture, the city you live in, AND the school you attend. I am thinking that the next year is going to be very educational for you once your site slanders a couple of people to the point that they lose control and decide to take a trip to Middletown with your picture in hand.

Digital wall (2, Funny)

unifyingtheory (1357069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255588)

Did anyone else read the title and think someone put a big electronic wall in the bathroom that can be written on like a tablet pc?
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