Campus / News / May 13, 2009

Turning private to public in the digital age

A new site has popped into the Knox blogosphere. Knox Texts from Last Night (http://www.knoxtfln.blogspot.

com/) is a site that allows the Knox community to post their text messages, prefaced by their area code, to the web for public view. The texts are posted anonymously. A student uses the email established for the website to send their message to the blog’s moderators who then post it to the site.

The moderators of the site ask that the posts not be “offensive to the point of being viciously personal, racist, exceedingly profane, violent or ‘too’ graphic in nature.” The site is meant as light entertainment and a look into the musings of the Knox community.

“I feel like it’s generally harmless as it’s anonymous,” said senior Jamie Hadac who was sent the link to the site by a friend. “I feel like people will forget about it. Honestly, these trends tend to go in cycles,” she said.

Other students are worried that the site’s intent, to make public possibly inflammatory statements, could become harmful.

“It’s supposed to be things that are, well, things you wouldn’t want people knowing,” said junior Ben Robbins. “I think that right now it’s a funny thing, and it could potentially become a problem for some people. I think that there’s a degree of maturity and intelligence that would be prerequisite for people posting things, but I don’t think most people on campus have that… If this goes the way I think it’s going to go, people are going to get pissed.”

Similar sites exist which focus on the Knox community. The Knox Wikifire, started by Tom Fucoloro ‘08, was introduced in April 2007. Since its inception, the site has remained active, particularly for Flunk Day rumors.

Knox Post Secret, a Facebook group that allows students to submit anonymous secrets on “postcards,” also focuses on the student community.

“[Knox Post Secret] is destructive. It allows people to ignore their problems rather than confronting them,” said sophomore Ernie LoBue. “I got banned… I think it’s stupid because it’s anonymous. “

Klayr Valentine-Fossum

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