JuicyCampus shuts down due to economic problems

The site denies the shut down is due to any legal problems.

To the delight of some members of the Missouri Students Association and some students across campus, the college gossip site JuicyCampus.com announced it would be shutting down Feb. 4.

The official JuicyCampus blog stated the site's closing was due to waning advertising revenue as a result of the economic downturn. The site was completely shut down Feb. 5.

JuicyCampus had been in operation for about a year and a half and during that time, the gossip site created controversy on college campuses across the country. The site began at Duke University, the alma mater of its creator, Matt Ivester, and spread to campuses across the nation.

Several universities have recently banned JuicyCampus from the campus Internet, the first being Tennessee State University. JuicyCampus responded by filing a lawsuit against TSU.

Following that action by TSU, several smaller, private universities banned JuicyCampus as well, including Hamilton College and Lipscomb University. Additionally, larger campuses such as Georgetown and Pepperdine Universities have publicly spoken out against JuicyCampus.

MU administration and MSA were wary of taking such steps. Before winter break, the MSA Senate passed a motion to ban the Web site but they abandoned the possibility of banning it following the lawsuit between JuicyCampus and TSU.

MSA was looking into alternative ways to protect students from the malicious postings and conflict arising from the site.

MSA Senator Phyllis Williams was pleased at the announcement of JuicyCampus' shutdown. She is a supporter of students who have voiced concerns about the site.

Williams attempted to contact JuicyCampus about the violations made to the terms and conditions of their site, but the sites administrators was unresponsive to the problem, she said.

"I sent emails to JuicyCampus and posted messages that were taken down quickly," Williams said. "The problem I had was not with the idea of JuicyCampus. They were unique. They were not enforcing their terms and conditions."

Williams noted the greatest difference between JuicyCampus and other similar gossip and networking sites.

"Facebook and MySpace have gone above and beyond to make sure terms and conditions are followed," she said. "There's enforcement there. They've been really, really cooperative with consumers."

According to the JuicyCampus blog, the shutdown is entirely related to the economic struggles facing the site. The blog discredits rumors that the closing has any relation to legal action or the banning of the site on many campuses.

"No charges were ever brought against JuicyCampus by any AG (Attorney General). The site is likewise not shutting down as a result of any lawsuits or other sort of legal trouble. JuicyCampus' services and policies have always been well within the law," the blog stated.

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