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Tufts Confessions creator explains new page

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 02:02

Over 900 students have “liked” the Tufts Confessions Facebook page, an online place for students to submit anonymous confessions, since its creation on Feb. 15.

Nicole Dahan created the Tufts Confessions page as a comical way for students to share things they would not otherwise say. Each post is featured on a Facebook page for students to view.

Anonymous students’ confessions inundate the SurveyMonkey account that feeds the page content, according to Dahan. Submissions simply require an answer to the question, “What is your Tufts Confession?” without any personal information. From anecdotes about weekend antics to secret crushes, Dahan publishes all the posts.

“Some are definitely a joke,” Dahan, a sophomore, said. “But I think some of them are definitely truthful. As long as no one is directly insulted, I put it on the page.”

Compared to what she has read on the University of Wisconsin−Madison Confessions page that inspired the Tufts page’s creation, Dahan said she expected fewer wild stories from Tufts. She said that she’s been surprised by some of the content.

“Our posts are equally crazy as [posts from] schools really renowned for being a party school,” Dahan said. “I didn’t think people were so weird.”

Several other colleges in the United States have similar anonymous tell−all Facebook pages — like NYU Secrets and UC Davis Confessions — as well as other college−specific pages dedicated to opening campus communication.

Similar in concept to The Public Journal, Tufts’ print outlet for candid expression, Tufts Confessions mirrors the magazine’s mission for sharing uncensored messages.

While the page’s posts cover various topics, Tufts Free Compliments President Brendan Conron said he believes Tufts Confessions does not accurately portray the character of Tufts’ undergraduate students.

“Ideally, it would serve as a way for people to express a sentiment that if their name was attached to it they’d be socially judged for it,” Conron, a sophomore, said. “The way it’s being used is kind of sad.”

In the process of implementing Tufts Free Compliments’ new anonymous submission website — initiated before Tufts Confessions — Conron said he commends Dahan’s savvy in how she operates the Facebook page.

Tufts Free Compliments’ latest platform officially launches next week, allowing students to interact with the Facebook page without revealing their identity to even the account managers. Currently the program requires students to use their Facebook accounts when contacting the Tufts Free Compliments account.

“Compliments is more peer−to−peer confessions, Confessions is more individual concepts,” Conron said. “They both are in the realm of social media psychology, but Confessions are more morose.”

Conron said he is worried some of Tufts Confessions’ false submissions could tarnish others’ reputations on campus. For example, he said recent posts about fraternity hazing worried him.

“People need to realize responsible usage,” Conron said. “This is the most vocal I’ve seen Tufts students.”

While she said she has not had problems with the page in its first days, Dahan said she would take down individual posts if students request it.

Thus far, Dahan said she has balanced the demands of the page with homework without issue — if the time burden increases, she said she’ll solicit posting help from a friend.

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