State Subpoenas Records From JuicyCampus.com
As It Investigates the College Gossip Website
NEWARK—A website that publishes anonymous gossip about college students, some identified by first and last name and dormitory, has been subpoenaed by the Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs as part of a state investigation into the operation of the college gossip website.
The state is investigating whether JuicyCampus.com is violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act through unconscionable commercial practices and misrepresentations to users. The state's subpoena, issued to site owner Lime Blue, L.L.C. of Reno, Nevada, requests information about how the company selects "supported campuses" as identified on its web site, how the school affiliation of posters is verified and how it implements the Parental Consent Forms it requires for posters under 18 years old, among other items. New Jersey's Princeton University is listed as a supported campus.
"Misrepresentation to the public by businesses violates our Consumer Fraud Act," Attorney General Anne Milgram said. "JuicyCampus.com must honor the terms and conditions that it informs the public it will adhere to."
Postings on JuicyCampus.com include uncomplimentary references to the physical characteristics, race, ethnicity and implied sexual experiences of students. 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. 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 state issued a second subpoena to Adbrite, Inc., a San Francisco-based online advertising company that advertises on the JuicyCampus.com web site. The state is requesting information about the business relationship between Adbrite and JuicyCampus.com in order to determine how JuicyCampus.com represented its operation to Adbrite, including the types of ads and advertising keywords requested by JuicyCampus.com.
Additionally, the State sent a letter to Google, Inc., to inquire about the company's prior business relationship with JuicyCampus.com. Advertising provided through Google's AdSense Online Program no longer appear on JuicyCampus.com
Consumer Affairs' E-Commerce Investigative Unit is leading the investigation of JuicyCampus.com, along with Assistant Attorney General James Savage.