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Students Feel Targeted By Profane Gossip Sites

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Theindychannel.com: A gossip Web site focused on college students is causing a lot of consternation among campus communities in which students have been targeted by words they feel helpless against.

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Most colleges have message boards at collegeacb.com. Most of them are filled with sex-related threads, such as "sexiest three sororities" and other more overtly profane topics, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.

"Anna," a Butler University student asked to remain anonymous for this story because she doesn't want to be a target of scrutiny, like she was last year.

Anna was one of thousands of students gossiped about on a Web site called JuicyCampus.

"It just felt awful ... If you can go on there and say something anonymously about someone, what's going to stop them from saying something that's completely untrue?" Anna said. "They would call a girl a slut, they would call a girl a whore, they would say so and so hooked up with so and so."

JuicyCampus shut down last year, citing financial reasons, but collegeacb took its place.

It's easy for anyone to find pages full of gossip about nearly every university.

Dr. Carol Hagans, associate provost of student affairs at Butler, has counseled students who have been talked about on sites such as collegeacb. She said some students consider transfers after peers talk about them.

"Student affairs dealt with whole living units of people who felt uncomfortable to be in their sorority, uncomfortable to live in their residence halls," Hagans said.

Butler administrators said they have tried to get posts removed from the sites, without success.

Disclaimers on the sites protect the content, leaving students and teachers with little hope for change.

"I really don't see, unless there is a huge, significant and very costly lawsuit, that this is not going to go away," Hagans said.

6News attempted to contact a collegeacb representative for comment, but didn't receive a response Thursday evening.

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