There’s drama in the NYU Tumblr-sphere again, and this time the mockery is undeniably well deserved. To begin, let’s start with NYU Secrets – a student-run Facebook page you might have learned about from an interview NYU Local published last December. For those that are unfamiliar, NYU Secrets is a Facebook page that was created to “establish community” at this fine institution by allowing students to submit “secrets” (that range from therapy-heavy catharsis to bullshit confessions about Moulin Rouge), which are then posted anonymously and commented on by other students who apparently have nothing better to do with their time. Currently the page boasts 1,200-some secrets and has just shy of 10,000 “likes” with updates every couple of hours.
Seems like a great “community building” activity, right? Because there’s zero sense of camaraderie at NYU, which some people (who presumably have like 2 friends out of the ~35,000 kids that go to this school) brought up the last time NYU Local was a little sassy about Tumblr/Facebook feuds. Anyway—although NYU Secrets might encourage some sort of cathartic exercise to be shared among students, a beautiful blog popped up on Tumblr last Saturday that draws an intimate amount of attention to instances of outright bigotry that appear on the page.
Enter NYU Secrets Bigots—quite possibly the smartest/greatest idea anyone has had to combat this inane string of uncertified NYU Facebook pages (NYU Hook Ups, NYU Compliments, NYU Memes, etc.) that plague our news feeds and over-stimulated minds. The blog is run by an anonymous creator who is invested in rape prevention, domestic violence awareness, and, oh yeah, making fun of the assholes (yeah, I said it—again) who feel the need to gaslight women and call each other “faggot” on the Internet.
A lot of students who spew bullshit about the lack of community at NYU fail to realize that perhaps we’re not ready for it—whatever “it” may be. [Sidebar: if you’re one of these people, please take a moment to scroll through this list of clubs and organizations offered at our school.] NYU Secrets Bigots reminds us that there are a lot of jerks at NYU that use Facebook to communicate with strangers in non-productive, insensitive, and potentially hurtful ways. Although NYU Secrets might seem like a good idea—it does connect nearly 10,000 people—if it’s meant to serve as some sort of community building tool, shouldn’t there be some sort of discretion? Shouldn’t moderators be more wary of racist, sexist, and homophobic comments? Perhaps yes, however, it’s impossible and unfair to place the blame, so to speak, on one person—so let’s look at the bigger picture.
The real problem here is the immaturity of our peers. Take this post, for example—just one of many bigots that the blog singles out. If you click on the link, you’ll see that a student named Dehma has rudely replied, “stop playing so hard to get, sheesh” to a seemingly earnest female student who is distraught over a series of sexual advances from her father. What are you doing, Demha?! These are not the kinds of comments that encourage community at NYU. NYU Secrets Bigots goes on to add:
Hey, everyone. I have nothing to say about this, but you need to hear about it. Meet this lovely piece of shit, Demha Yruhdouhc. Apparently being sexually harassed and assaulted by your own father and rejecting his advances means you’re playing hard to get. You need to get fucking sent far, far away, asshole.
Although it’s not always best to fight fire with fire, NYU Secrets Bigots draws attention to important issues that are often overlooked by Facebook-active students at our school. I’m sure we’ve all used the Internet to make comments that, in retrospect, we’re not proud of, but it’s NYU Secrets Bigots that says, hey, this is not okay, in a contentious and attention-grabbing way that reminds us that “privilege ain’t cute.”
[Image via with alteration by Chelsea Beeler]