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New Jersey Subpoenas College Gossip Web Site JuicyCampus

Prosecutors are checking to see if the site is commiting fraud by failing to remove offensive posts as promised.

K.C. Jones

March 20, 2008

2 Min Read

New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has subpoenaed a college gossip Web site as part of an investigation into derogatory comments on the site.

On JuicyCampus.com, anonymous users post comments about students' purported sexual experiences, as well as information about race and other attributes, often naming them and stating where they live.

The site's terms and conditions state that it may remove offensive content that is abusive, obscene, or an invasive of people's privacy, "but the site apparently lacks tools to report or dispute this material," Milgram's office said.

JuicyCampus' home page announces: "C'mon. Give us the juice. Posts are totally, 100% anonymous." Wednesday's "most recent" postings included an offer for free sexual favors and promised a photo.

"Misrepresentation to the public by businesses violates our Consumer Fraud Act," Milgram said while announcing the investigation. "JuicyCampus.com must honor the terms and conditions that it informs the public it will adhere to."

Prosecutors and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs want to determine whether Web site owner Lime Blue of Reno, Nev., violates the Consumer Fraud Act through "unconscionable commercial practices and misrepresentations to users."

"The site's 'User Conduct Terms' require posters to agree that they will not post content that is abusive, obscene, or invasive of another's privacy," Milgram said in a statement. "JuicyCampus.com tells the public that this offensive content may be removed, but the site apparently lacks tools to report or dispute this material."

The subpoena requests an explanation of how JuicyCampus selects "supported campuses" featured on its site, how users' school affiliation is verified, and how it enforces the use of parental consent forms for users under 18.

A second subpoena requests information about the business relationship between the Web site and AdBrite, a San Francisco online advertising company that advertises on the site. Specifically, investigators want to know how JuicyCampus represents itself, as well as the types of ads and advertising keywords it requests.

New Jersey investigators also sent a letter to Google seeking information about the company's relationship with JuicyCampus, which no longer places ads on the site through AdSense.

JuicyCampus representatives could not be reached immediately for comment. The Web 2.0 site states that it requires 24 hours to respond to press inquiries.

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