Confession Pages by College Students on Facebook Risking University’s Reputation

Confessions (Image Source: Hint.com)

Confessions (Image Source: Hint.com)

Unless you’re not too active on Facebook, you are already sick of the Confession pages that have been trending in the site for the past month. What probably started as a time pass by a few bored college students has spread like wildfire throughout the city’s colleges and before you knew it, every college and school has opened a page of its own. Which to a regular Facebook user is more than just annoying.

But to an outsider, however fun or crazy the confessions might sound, it reeks of reputation. Bad institution reputation at that. Students foul mouth the board, teachers, campus, other students, bully them, spread rumours. In other words, it’s a typical teenager attitude hangout place, gone social. Only, not too polite. To them it’s like a private joke, within themselves, coming together to talk about their school or college. There are groups that can be used in Facebook that are secret and closed groups but a page is visible to the public.

The biggest boost for this trend is the fact that the confessions are anonymous, mirroring the internet’s biggest bane. They have no way of being penalised unless their name is mentioned. But the page admin does not know of the identity of the confessors either.

The internet is a free place with the netizens fighting against the laws that have tried to come up in place. But for brands or institutions in this case, will these laws work? Do they need laws to enable that their students don’t come together in large numbers, gang up against their colleges and schools and bad mouth them?

So, what is currently being done?

  • College students are opening Facebook Pages for confessions and not closed groups. A Facebook page has an easy access to one who lands on it or the ones who subscribes to it.
  • In the about us section of the confession page a link to Google Form has been mentioned on clicking any person can go and confess their thoughts about the college/ college goer / secrets related to professors and principle.
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Confession Box on Google Form

What is so bad about it?

Since confessions are talking about college and faculty as well it becomes easy for any third person from outside the college to land up and evaluate (well, it might not be a honest confession but it still impacts the organization’s value)

For ex: the comment below showcase how MOP College makes biased decision on the basis of donations and caste and not on the basis of exam scores.

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Since the form is open to all and these pages are not really created by University. It is so easy for me to create a Page for “MOP College” (for example) and make 1000s of comments in a anonymous format against the college, thus spoiling the reputation online!

Tip Off:

Well, a Strict Social Media Policy should be drafted for college students. However, the confessions can be made by alumnus also which is not in control of college. The universities should probably hunt for Admins (which is not really possible).

University must give students, freedom of expression or build in “Confession Boxes” inside the campus for each opinion to be dealt with seriousness.

Final Note:

  • For Universities: It would be ideal if University takes these comments seriously & try building their reputation around it! University must own a “Honest Confessions of ______ University” Group for this and not a page. A Group allows Universities to approve the right individuals to join and at the same time the messages can be controlled and heard from genuine individuals with the Disclaimer: “University will not act ‘strictly’ against you even if you are going to be honest ;)”
  • For Students: Confess it with name, to be dealt with it seriously or write a open letter to the “Principal” (too much of a risk no? But, these discreet confessions are not going to help you as well! as the credibility of it is still going to be questioned)

Previously people use to write on consumer or complain forums on rarest of occasions.  Now Facebook pages is replacing that too because of ease of access. Would like to know your views on the same, comment below to initiate a discussion.

PS: These forms are accessible to anyone – so anyone can post anything on the forms! I am a Loyolite but I can still post on MOP confession pages posing in as students bad mouthing professors and risking reputation!

Oh & yeah! I am personally not against these confession pages. If you really want to confess then HAVE a FACE to it so that the Universities can actually FACE it!

The confession pages which are created by some students for fun sake,  encourages vulgar, personal attacks and allows any random confessions without any concrete identity and evidence of its roots is just BASELESS! 

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Sorav,

    A very good analysis of the situation. Even though it was obvious and well known to everybody, I like the way you have put it together. Thumbs Up.

    Varun Varadarajan

  • (1) You can see it as one way of expressing and voicing opinions of the students where colleges are strict. Wouldn’t see that as a threat. Most of the confessions pages seemed to have anonymous indirect proposals or rumors more than anything..

    (2) Like you added it is quiet the way college sees it.. a college that is concerned could possibly take these pages as a feedback and respond on their “official” pages. Rather than warning or barring such activities they could rather lead them to a structure of presenting decent feedback.

    (3) Social Media policy – Oh..please! Not another policy! Rather teach the students to be innovative in retaliating to false acclaims or rumors. This is quiet the life’s lesson in a way.. learning how to handle freedom is all the more important on the purpose of college education.

    Appreciate the compassion of the writer.

    • Thanks a ton for your comment. The policy is just to bridge in the comfortness that the university can set in to avoid severe circumstances. It is not to regulate freedom of expression.

  • The tips sound extremely impractical, agreeing with DSo on the “social media policy” there is a reason why it is called social media and not media. That is the beauty/bane of social media.

    We have a world in which people believe that “Eating X , Y times a day can cure cancer”, and I don’t think you could regulate it.

    The only way forward is to live with it, I look at IIT Confessions, and don’t find anything that would hurt the “repute” of the institute. It may hurt the repute of the institute that some else may have constructed, but then again, I don’t think that we need to be concerned about that.

    I seriously don’t think many institutes would agree to Confession Boxes, and even if they did, I know how suggestions to the administration goes out in many colleges.

    Finding the admins would be tricky, I know a lot of people who know how to keep their digital footprint to the minimum. 😛

  • […] 5. Confession Pages by college students on Facebook risking university’s reputation: In his latest post, Sorav discusses about the Confession pages that have been trending on Facebook. The article talks how the fun thing is being used and misused presently. Finally he talks about how Universities can make an attempt to stop this which is affecting their reputation but I really doubt if Universities will listen to genuine complaints and act upon it. Read the complete story here. […]

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