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The site was previously taken offline in 2007 after Pappas tried to redirect posting to a newer version of the site that never became popular,but the original BoredatBaker site was relaunched in 2009.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.