JuicyCampus, Ruckus no more

Matt Ciepielowski

College students looking to gossip about their peers on JuicyCampus or download music legally with Ruckus will now have to look elsewhere, as both services have been discontinued. Juicycampus.com officially closed down on Feb. 5, and Ruckus followed suit the next day.

According to a post by JuicyCampus founder and CEO Matt Ivester on the official Juicycampus blog, “In these historically difficult economic times, online ad revenue has plummeted and venture capital funding has dissolved. JuicyCampus’ exponential growth outpaced our ability to muster the resources needed to survive this economic downturn.”

No one affiliated with Ruckus, on the other hand, has given any reason for its closing. Its Web site simply displays the message: “Unfortunately the Ruckus service will no longer be provided.”
JuicyCampus was an anonymous message board where students posted gossip about students and happenings on campus. Its brief history was full of controversy, as many schools considered banning it and the site received many threats of litigation for defamation and libel. Ivester asserted that the legal issues had nothing to do with the decision to shut down the site.

There was significant controversy over JuicyCampus here at Quinnipiac. As reported in The Chronicle on Oct. 1, 2008, sophomore SGA representative Louis Venturelli introduced a motion to recommend that the administration ban JuicyCampus, and on Sept. 24, it passed unanimously. The motion referenced unnamed “deplorable acts of hatred” and called JuicyCampus an “online gossip Web site.”

Ruckus was a program that allowed college students to download songs for free, although they were DRM-laden and could not be played on MP3 players without buying an upgrade or using a crack. Ruckus, like JuicyCampus, was supported financially through online advertising.

Juicycampus.com now redirects to CollegeACB.com.
“The CollegeACB or College Anonymous Confession Board seeks to give students a place to vent, rant, and talk to college peers in an environment free from social constraints and about subjects that might otherwise be taboo,” its mission statement reads.
On that same blog post, Peter Frank of CollegeACB claims that it will be different from JuicyCampus because it will “promote deep and thoughtful discussion” and will moderate some posts.
Ivester concluded his blog post by saying, “While there are parts of JuicyCampus that none of us will miss – the mean-spirited posts and personal attacks – it has also been a place for the fun, lighthearted gossip of college life. I hope that is how it is remembered.”

Stay with The Chronicle for more on these developing stories, including an in-depth look at the future of online services that target students.