LittleGossip or BIG Problem?

Completely anonymous gossip site: a breeding ground for trolls and bullies?

A forum for harmless banter or malicious abuse?

There is nothing wrong with the odd bit of gossip. It’s natural, entertaining and everyone’s guilty of it (as a girl I can put my hands up and admit that I definitely am). But what if there was a way of spreading gossip completely anonymously, for it to remain documented forever on a 100% public site? Cue

The website is gossipers’ galore: using the location/university filters, anyone is able to post, browse and rate gossip as true or false – all completely anonymously.

Here at the Tab, we aren’t really sure how to react to such a phenomenon. The Southampton Uni page of the site seems to be nothing but pretty light-hearted banter so far: “southamptons shit from solent” (sadly due to the desperate lack of any punctuation at all, this ‘gossip’ fails to make any sense).

On top of this, the creators of the site claim that they “wish to create some deep, clean, insightful and interesting conversation – as well as out and out gossip”. So far so good.

Or is it? Further research informed me that the site “rely on [their] users for moderation”. There’s something about the unconditional anonymity of the site that made us uncomfortable (especially considering that anything anyone posts is published on the site, and the onus is on other users to report anything that might cross a line).

And looks like we weren’t the only ones: the site has not been without its troubles. In February last year, it shut down after the charity BeatBullying’s criticised ‘malicious comments’ on the site: on one school’s page, someone claimed that they wanted to rape their teacher. LittleGossip, however, stressed that closure was an independent decision. The site was set back up in December, but without a filter for schools: enter the Universities.

Now the question is: will the Universities’ gossip pages turn nasty as the schools’ eventually did? I’d like to think we’re more mature than schoolchildren, but will some of us succumb to darker intentions than mere ‘gossip’ when we are tempted with not having to own up to our words? As the site itself stated on its closure: ‘voice without ownership means that a person’s worst side can surface’.