Editorial:Social media is being used as a means to hurt students on our campus, and it needs to stop
Published: Friday, January 31, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014 17:01
The millennials — the social media experts and computer wizzes — have the guilty pleasure of remaining faceless on Facebook.
Some say that social media is a tool to bring people together and is used to defy physical borders between us. This is the deeply embedded irony of our generation.
“Facebook is about sharing and connecting — connecting with friends, family, communities and the issues and causes that you care about most,” said a strategic partner manager at Facebook, Libby Leffler, to Forbes.
Sure, we all would like to think that Facebook is being used solely to help bring people together, but the Internet has given users more than just the ability to connect. Plato would be surprised to see that today, people have their own “Ring of Gyges”: the gift of invisibility through anonymity. Certain Loyola students are guilty of abusing this power.
The page, Loyno Confessions, has quickly evolved from an innocent page of a forum for discussion into a vulgar, borderline pornographic monster with no face but many heads.
The cause of this unprecedented platform of hate and petty comments may be at the fault of our indulgence in anonymity; however, there is also blame to be put on the administrators/creators of the page for letting gutless people broadcast their tactless comments and words of abuse.
The most popular posts are often the ones that inspire the most outrage in others for being offensive and mean, but those posts are not deleted and the victims are left to be humiliated forever on the Internet.
CollegeACB and JuicyCampus have both been shut down following a combination of campaigns and lawsuits. Both sites were in the same spirit of Loyno Confessions but much larger, and despite their popularity, even those administrators could not control the abuse and hatred coming from the anonymous submissions.
Entering college can be a terrifying experience. Most of us know to look up our college choices through sites like Facebook. Younger generations are being mislead to believe that the Loyola community is exactly as they see it on Loyno Confessions.
Consider whether you would want your younger sibling attending a small school with a Facebook page used to openly bash other students. According to various news soucrces, Erin and Shannon Gallagher are sisters who committed suicide on separate occasions as a result of cyber bullying on another anonymous website, ask.fm.
The consequences of harassment online is well-known and by the time we reach college one would think that we have matured beyond such irresponsibility. Loyno Confessions is a danger to our students and to our community image.
The page is not monitored or controlled by psychologists or professionals, the administrators are students that are neither making the right, nor the responsible decisions in managing posts. They are at risk for being a liability to the university and we demand that they either re-examine their methods or that they shut down the page.
They need to realize the great things social media can do for us and stop using it to cause more harm than good.
Consider how students across the globe have been able to use Facebook and social media as a way to overthrow an oppressive regime.
There is a problem in our community when the Loyola University Community Action Program page, an on-campus organization dedicated to helping others, has less followers and participants than Loyno Confessions.
It is possible to use Facebook as a method for generating peace and understanding. Loyola students need to get it together and re-introduce dignity and compassion for others into our social media choices.