BoredatBaker temporarily suspended

by Emma Fidel, The Dartmouth Staff

14 Jul 2010

Since its return in September, BoredatBaker.com has been widely discussed among students and criticized by administrators.

The Dartmouth

Gos­sip fiends at Dart­mouth and other Ivy League in­sti­tu­tions will have to seek new venues to con­tinue their anony­mous post­ing — BoredatBaker.​com, the in­fa­mous on­line mes­sage board for Dart­mouth stu­dents, and its par­al­lel sites have been taken of­fline due to con­cerns re­gard­ing their con­tent, ac­cord­ing to an open let­ter writ­ten by Jon Pap­pas, the sites’ cre­ator.

The sites have re­cently been used by a “small group of peo­ple” to post at­tacks on spe­cific in­di­vid­u­als “in a re­peated, per­sis­tent man­ner,” Pap­pas wrote. The at­tacks in­cluded per­sonal in­for­ma­tion — such as phone num­bers and e-mail ad­dresses — and ma­li­cious state­ments, ac­cord­ing to the let­ter.

“It is clear that [Bored-at] is not ma­ture enough to mod­er­ate or con­trol it­self well,” Pap­pas said in the let­ter.

Pap­pas wrote that the Bored-at sites are not and were never in­tended to be a venue for post­ing per­sonal at­tacks.

“Since I dont [sic] have a so­lu­tion for this prob­lem right now, like I’ve done in the past, I’ve de­cided to take down the sites for the time being,” Pap­pas wrote.

Per­sonal at­tacks be­came a prob­lem for some Dart­mouth stu­dents when the site launched in 2006, The Dart­mouth pre­vi­ously re­ported.

The site was pre­vi­ously taken of­fline in 2007 after Pap­pas tried to redi­rect post­ing to a newer ver­sion of the site that never be­came pop­u­lar,but the orig­i­nal Bore­dat­Baker site was re­launched in 2009. Stu­dents brought the site to the at­ten­tion of Dart­mouth ad­min­is­tra­tors after the re­launch due to its dam­ag­ing con­tent, The Dart­mouth pre­vi­ously re­ported.

Pap­pas’ July 8 let­ter orig­i­nally stated that the sites’ focus on “ho­mo­sex­u­als look­ing for anony­mous hookups,” was an­other rea­son for the sites’ dis­con­tin­u­ance. Pap­pas later re­moved all ref­er­ences to ho­mo­sex­u­als from the let­ter.

“Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have any­thing against ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity,” Pap­pas wrote in the orig­i­nal let­ter. “How­ever, its [sic] not what I in­tended to be the pri­mary focus of the site(s).”

The most com­mon top­ics of dis­cus­sion on Bore­dat­Baker are re­lated to the Greek sys­tem or are sex­ual in na­ture, The Dart­mouth pre­vi­ously re­ported.

Pap­pas pre­vi­ously told The Dart­mouth that he did not in­tend to cre­ate a gos­sip site, but that the Col­lege’s cul­ture “may turn it into that.”

Posts re­fer­ring to in­di­vid­u­als by name were more preva­lent on Bore­dat­Baker than on its cousin sites — Bore­dat­But­ler at Co­lum­bia Uni­ver­sity and Bore­dat­La­m­ont at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity — and Bore­dat­Baker was the most ac­tive site over­all, Pap­pas said.

The Bore­dat sites were first in­tro­duced at Co­lum­bia — Pap­pas’ alma mater — in Feb­ru­ary 2006 and came to Dart­mouth in the fall of that year.




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