As NYU Secrets administrator, Orginos facilitates a massive audience of approximately 30,000 readers and contributors. NYU Secrets is a place for comfort and outcry; unity and division. A community.
Yesterday Orginos agreed to write a statement for NYU Local detailing, in his own words, how his self-professed bias might spill over into the management of NYU Secrets. He quit the project several hours later with the understanding that I would resume writing this article using the screenshots, sources and quotes I’d already assembled.
Outside his duties as administrator, Orignos posts in the Reddit group r/mensrights. The men’s rights movement argues that men are oppressed and disadvantaged by women, a view that lends itself to bitter misogyny in some circles and has led the Southern Poverty Law Center to describe the movement as a hate group.
Orginos does not appear to write hate.
He has, however, used Reddit to lash out at NYU Secrets users, particularly women. On multiple occasions, Orginos posted links to secrets on Reddit. There, he accused NYU Secrets commenters of being “SJWs” (social justice warriors) after they discussed women’s safety issues such as reported rape on campus, and the link between the men’s rights movement and May’s UCSB killings.
“‘The UCSB shooting was because of patriarchy and the Men’s Rights Movement,’ says SJW on university Secrets page.”
“SJWs go apeshit on University secrets page about student accused of rape; administrator under attack for ‘gaslighting’ by updating with relevant facts.”
Orginos wrote other posts, none egregious, but many troubling. In one he argues that many rape accusations are false. In another he dismisses a gender-wage gap. In others he mocks less-privileged demographics and rejects a group of homeless persons.
His comments are difficult to reconcile with NYU Secrets’ themes of community and acceptance. If a man makes great contributions to a community, is he justified in disparaging members of that community on a public forum? I decided to discuss the issue with him for an article that was planned to run later this year.
I had previously learned his identity through multiple independent sources and we had communicated earlier in the year about his maintenance of NYU Secrets. Our conversation ended amicably at the time. In the time since our conversation, I wrote the draft of an article examining how the views espoused in Orginos’ r/mensrights posts might affect the secrets that are chosen for publication.
On August 17 I messaged Orginos asking for his input. I wanted to refocus the story, this time taking his perspective into account. Within an hour he deleted his Reddit and posted a message to his followers claiming that NYU Local planned to write “untrue things about [him]“. He threatened to reveal my identity if I wrote the article. (My byline can be found at the top of this page.) I received some messages from messages from strangers. A few tacit threats to my well-being. Nothing awful.
The next morning Orginos responded. He admitted that I had been correct about his identity and his Reddit history. He redacted his claims that NYU Local planned to publish “untrue” and “disingenuous” material, admitting that he “had read all of zero words written” about him before making his claims.
I asked Orginos for his side of the story and he agreed to discuss his contributions to r/mensrights. Later I offered to let him write the entire story under his own byline in the interest of fairness. He accepted, and later declined.
Only Orginos can speak explicitly to the ways his views color NYU Secrets. “I know that there’s bias attached to this page,” he wrote in a Facebook message. When agreeing to write his story, he said he would address NYU Secrets’ perceived biases against women and people of color. Specifically Orginos said he would address the bias against the women he mocked in Reddit posts about the UCSB shooting.