A new website called TUGossip, which billed itself as “an
unofficial anonymous message board for Trinity University” was
taken down earlier this week for reasons that are not immediately
known.

Although it’s unclear exactly why the website was taken
down or who took it down, Charles White, vice president of
Information Resources, said in an email response, “My suspicion
would be that the cost of hosting such, including the complaints,
was simply greater than any benefit from them (none that I can
think of). Primarily the motivation for the hosting is the same as
the motivation for much ‘hacking’ which is to cause some body,
some entity, grief.”

The administration did not get involved with TUGossip,
according to David Tuttle, dean of students, and did not take the
website down.

“We were surprised to see it disappear. But I don’t think we had
anything to do with it,” Tuttle said in an email response.
White said in his email response that websites such as this have
been problems for other colleges and universities because they
use the institution’s name but are not officially affiliated with the
institution.

“I am aware of many colleges having sites like that created using
the respective college’s name and wringing their hands over the
inability to shut them down or to effectively block them,” White
said. “Since they are inevitably hosted outside the U.S. they are
nearly impossible to reach legally without huge expense and long
durations with the effect of drawing attention to them.”

Although White didn’t see the point in having such an anonymous
forum, White prefers to focus on the positive that came out of it –
that many posts on the site opposed the questionable conversations
which were taking place on the forum.

“Anytime one can say anything anonymously it tends to be at best
silly and at worst libelous,” White said in the email response. “The
essence of these sites is anonymity of the source of the content.
Having perused the TUgossip site it was mostly silly, adolescent
in nature and sometimes libelous. I was surprised, however, to
note the number of constructive rebuttals to the silliness that
were also part of it. Just as some cannot help themselves but to
be thoughtless, others among us cannot help but be thoughtful! I
like to focus on the latter.”