Twitter Page Upsets Some, Interests Others

Over 900 tweets have been anonymously submitted and posted to the controversial Twitter account @Monmouth­Confess, which displays gossip, lies, secrets, sexual fantasies, and compliments, accompa­nied for the most part, with full names of students and staff at the University in 140 characters or less.

More of the PG rated Monmouth Confessions in­clude: “I scrubbed my room­mate’s toothbrush in the toilet that I peed in after she ate all of my food when I was home for the weekend,” posted on Oct. 21, “I wonder, if she knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life making her happy, would she still sleep with so many other guys?” posted on Oct. 15, and “After reading these tweets, I have come to the conclusion that there are some really f***** up people in this school,” posted on Oct. 14.

The account is commonly dominated with what one might call R or X rated tweets, and are unfit for publishing in a family newspaper.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice Presi­dent for Student and Communi­ty Services, said, “[Monmouth Confessions] is a shame because I think that social media is an important element of the world we live in today, and it is an im­portant method of communicat­ing; but, this is not a good use of social media. I think it is also sad, frankly, that this is what has been communicated by our students or others… It’s sad our society has become so insensi­tive that this is the kind of stuff [they write].”

There are over 2,400 Twit­ter users following the account since its launch on March 21. The original administrators, a former biochemistry student who wishes to remain anony­mous and a current sophomore who requested not to have his/ her identity revealed, were in­spired by Rutgers Confessions and wanted to expand this so­cial media trend to the Univer­sity.

The students also felt a de­mand by the overall student population when they “would hear students ask for a confes­sions account,” said the former student. “The Confessions Page seemed like a fun idea, so we decided to create it,” he/she added.

The biography of Monmouth Confessions states, “Servin’ you the juice, spiked of course. Send your anonymous MU Confessions to Not in any way affiliated with Monmouth University.” People submit tweets to Monmouth Confes­sions through, a social networking website where users can ask other users questions, with the option of anonymity.

The former biochemistry stu­dent said, “At first we posted everything, but then we realized that some things were far too inappropriate or would get cer­tain groups of people in trouble, such as student athletes or Resi­dence Assistants.”

Even with the filtering of some tweets, the original ad­ministrators received requests to remove insulting or embar­rassing posts via direct mes­saging or the account. “I respect people’s privacy and listened to anything that was suggested,” he/she added.

MU-ConfessA senior who wishes to re­main anonymous to disassociate him/herself from a confession that was posted this fall calling him/her a rapist, said, “I was pissed at first, and that changed to embarrassed and [then to] damaged when my friend pointed it out to me. It meant that others saw it,” he/she said. The student immediately contacted the site administrator to remove the post.

The student admits that he/she has posted confessions before, but after seeing him/herself be­ing mentioned in a negative light, it quickly changed his/her entire perspective of the site. “It was a huge wake up call to me, and it put me on alert that somebody will have something negative to say about someone else, whether their statements are factual or not… It is [a] damaging and stu­pid [account]. It’s redundant and it brings a lot of hurt and harm to one’s personality and demeanor.”

Trever Carpenter, sophomore health studies major, said, “Some of my friends read Monmouth Confessions like it is their morn­ing newspaper because they find it so funny and entertaining. I, however, think it’s very juve­nile. It makes our school look extremely cliquey and makes it appear as if we’re in high school all over again. It is a very damag­ing account.”

The former biochemistry stu­dent tweeted on June 12, “Who wants to take this account over? RT(Retweet)this if you want it… ironically enough I’m trans­ferring.” The account is now on its fourth transfer of ownership. There is an informal rule that each new administrator has to be of a sophomore standing or higher, which was created by the original administrators and has since been followed.

The current administrator, ju­nior education major who wishes to remain anonymous out of con­cern that revealing his/her iden­tity would make people reluctant to post certain tweets and essen­tially ruin the account, said, “It’s incredible what people can say behind a keyboard, and honestly it’s repulsive. I’ve seen some pretty messed up comments. What people fail to realize is that Monmouth Confessions was meant to show people’s dirty se­crets.” He/she gained access to the account as the administrator and began tweeting on Oct. 5.

The junior, like the original administrator, avoids posting ex­tremely negative comments. “I’m not sure if the original intention was to spike the confidence of keyboard warriors, but it both­ers me what some people have to say. I’ve had comments any­where from ‘so-and-so should go see a dermatologist’ to ‘that ugly fat cow who gained 50 pounds should go kill herself,’” he/she added.

Dario Korpita, junior criminal justice major, said, “I started fol­lowing the account when it first started, but it definitely wasn’t as popular as it is now. It is huge and everybody is talking about it.”

Korpita has been tweeted about on three separate occasions, one of them on Sept. 29 stating, “If I didn’t have a boyfriend I would totally go after Dario in TKE(Tau Kappa Epsilon)…he is be­yond precious.”

“Personally, being mentioned in Monmouth Confessions gave me a little laugh. Thankfully, they were all sweet confessions,” added Korpita. “There are a lot of sweet and funny tweets like the ones I was mentioned in. Other tweets, though, are very harsh and hurtful. Half of the people mentioned I do not know, but reading confessions about them makes me feel horrible about what people have to say about them.”

Nagy has met with members of the Student Government As­sociation (SGA) as well as Vice President and General Counsel Grey Dimenna and discussed the possibility of shutting the ac­count down; however, they have decided there is not any practi­cal or legal action that needs to be taken at this time by the Uni­versity. According to Dimenna, any possible legal action would have to be taken by the subjects of the tweets. Although a person is potentially protected by the First Amendment and freedom of speech, the subject of a malicious tweet can claim it is defamatory, the General Counsel believes, in which free speech rights would not protect the person from a defamation action.

D imenna said in order to sue someone for a false and malicious comment you first have to know who posted it. “Most internet sites, most likely including Twit­ter, are not willing to reveal such information. So you first have to sue Twitter to get the identity of the poster so you can then sue that person,” said Dimenna.

The Vice President and Gener­al Counsel said this social media situation is a new area of the law and the rules are still being set. “The bottom line is that we are talking about long and protracted litigation which is very expen­sive and usually beyond most persons’ financial means. In the end, you might be unsuccessful as I am not sure the identity must be revealed in all cases,” Dimen­na added.

Mary Harris, specialist pro­fessor of public relations, said, “Most of the content on [the Monmouth Confessions] feed is a form of cyber bullying, and it is a shame that some individuals choose to use their time to take part in this. My suggestion and piece of encouragement is for students and people in general to be selective about their me­dia choices. I try to encourage students to surround themselves with positive people and partake in healthy, meaningful experi­ences.”

Since the creation of Monmouth Confessions, other anonymous accounts have blos­somed including @ConfessMon­mouth and @MonmouthXposed, which all identify students by their full names in conjunction with similar posts.

Both Nagy and Dimenna are in agreement that students have the power to shut the account down by boycotting it when and if they realize the site is more damaging than it is beneficial. “I don’t think this is 6,000 students [tweeting]. This is a smaller number and I don’t think that the actions of a small number should truly re­flect what [our] institution is about. This is not us. This is not Monmouth. This is not where we want to be. This is not how we want people to look at us. Keep your personal business to your­self, and don’t drag the rest of us down,” said Nagy.

If any students are left feel­ing distressed regarding any­thing that they have experi­enced or witnessed as a result of Monmouth Confessions, the Counseling and Psychological Services are available and will­ing to help.

PHOTO TAKEN by Angela Ciroalo