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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

COURTESY OF MCT CAMPUS

COURTESY OF MCT CAMPUS

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. 

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10 comments Log in to Comment

Kevin Norris
Tue Feb 11 2014 11:56
Yes, hide behind the anonymity of "The Maroon". Who wrote this article? I want to see your full name with a color photo! What a hypocritical crybaby (or crybabies?). I'll lead by example and use my full name for this post.

P.S. Anyone injured by damages alleged in this article by this essentially anonymous author can file suit and/or charges against the offender(s) for libel, slander, defamation, harassment, menacing, etc. Identities of alleged offenders can be discovered in most cases. In those that prove more difficult, simply ask the NSA!

Anonymous
Tue Feb 4 2014 00:44
Hey geniuses... free speech is only a protection against the government's infringement onto your rights. Private entities (such as newspaper or social networks) have every right in the world to limit what you can or cannot say within their publishing platforms. And dude, ignoring damage doesn't make it go away. By that logic, I could say that "if someone posts your credit card number online, just close the window" ... damage is damage whether you are paying attention or not.
Patriot
Mon Feb 3 2014 12:33
Luke, hatred is a part of freedom of speech. If you ban "hateful speech" then anything can be considered hateful speech. This is exactly where gay marriage went when people voiced their concerns. They got labeled "bigots," "homophobic," etc. If you ban a KKK gathering, what's to stop someone from banning a Catholic pro-life rally? How about a rally against the government spying on its own people? It's a slippery slope and the only way America can keep its eroding rights is to stand up and stop playing the victim card. If someone mocks you on the internet, just close the damn window. The reason why people make such a big deal out of an insult from an anonymous person online is to garner attention. We're a very narcissist culture which is why I deleted my FB.
Luke
Sun Feb 2 2014 16:21
I really like this editorial. To the people complaining about free speech, it's fine on your own page to say what you want but hiding behind anonymity to promote and spew hatred isn't right. Such pages have recently been used to target specific people and directly cause offence and hurt. Surely, the moderators of the site should prevent such things being posted anyway. I like that they blur out the names of people who others try to out so why did they let others post blatant abuse towards an individual? People should accept responsibility for their hurtful comments or pages like this should be banned.
LibTard
Sun Feb 2 2014 15:38
I'm all for freedom of speech unless it's something I disagree with. Obama for king of America! Moar feminazism! Moar trannies! Down with White, heterosexual, Christian men!
Loyola Student
Sun Feb 2 2014 03:07
The author is the Maroon editorial. That's why it's editorial in the title.
jerry sanders
Sat Feb 1 2014 16:32
then why did you post this article in anonymity? the author is a hypocrite
Jordan
Fri Jan 31 2014 22:20
But why go after people for what is essentially free speech when the root of the problem is low self-esteem. We live in a country, like most others, where children are locked into prison-like schools, given no freedom and constantly judged by students, teachers, administration, and parents.
Anonymous
Fri Jan 31 2014 21:44
Bob Thomas, Mass Communication professor: It is tradition in American journalism that "editorials" in a newspaper are a consensus opinion of a defined group within that paper - the editors. Check out a hard copy of The Maroon. This is very, very different from a website that makes anonymous hurtful comments about other students.
loyola student
Fri Jan 31 2014 20:15
It is ironic that the author doesn't even list his/her name for this article then attacks students for posting comments anonymously. Yes, certain students are guilty of abusing this power and the author of this article is one of them.

"...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."

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