Loras College shuts down Facebook "Confessions" page
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
It's a new trend on Facebook, "confessions" sites dedicated to college students from a particular school, sharing secrets anonymously. At least one college in eastern Iowa has moved to shut down their school's confessions page. Loras College administrators talked with Facebook to remove the site while student leaders appealed to their peers to quit using it.
For Loras College Student Union President Daniel Thole, another Loras College social media page was exciting.
"I was just about to post a status about how great Loras students are doing and then I discovered the Loras College Confessions page and quickly got brought back to life," Thole said.
The Loras College Confessions page on Facebook was created by one or many Loras students. The page was a place where students could post anonymous confessions about the school.
"It blew up like right away. I think that it was only created for four hours and I saw 250 to 300 people already like it. By the time I was done looking at it, which was about 10 minutes later, there were probably about 30 more people who liked the page," Thole said.
"I thought this was going to escalate pretty quickly, and in probably the wrong direction. I thought the first few were sort of funny but as it progressed throughout the day and the next few days it got pretty disgusting pretty quickly," said Kevin Harlander, a senior at Loras.
As the popularity of the page grew, students began approaching administration about the page's place on social media.
"There were enough concerned students besides myself who felt the need to approach administration and enough alumni calling in. It was a pretty quick reaction by a lot of people that it got shut down," Thole said.
The school went to Facebook for help, which allowed the page to be brought down in less than 24 hours.
"We were certainly asking Facebook to stop it because we didn't put it out there. It really was students who said this is not who we are and asked for it to stop. So it was brought down by students. It was created by students but also brought down by students," said Art Sunleaf, dean of students at Loras.
"It was less than 24 hours, it was started, took on a life of its own and it stopped because students stopped it."
Although the page is down, Thole still wants students to understand the importance of using social media accounts responsibly.
"You represent more than yourself and the people posting represent more than just the school and the people there now because their are alumni who were effected by our page and it only lasted 13 hours before it got shut down," Thole said.
"I liken the confession page to what in my day would have been the bathroom stall. In that it is an opportunity for people to voice something funny, concern, something mean about others a;; anonymously." Sunleaf said.
Sunleaf says it was those mean comments that led to the page's removal. Loras College hopes more people post to its "Du It Forward" page, which allows students to anonymously give praise to other students and staff in their school.
A quick check shows confessions facebook pages for UNI and the University of Iowa are still active.
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