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Wondering about Bored at Butler? Wonder No Longer!

For some time now, Bwog has been wondering where Bored at Butler went. Almost a week ago, the site’s normal interface disappeared, replaced by a message that reads “r.i.p. b@b…46,848 posts…down for reconstruction, come back soon…” Bwog knows via comments that some of its readers share its curiosity about the site’s fate. Well, wonder no longer, dear readers, for Bwog has the inside scoop! Correspondent Mark Holden reports:

Issues of privacy and ad hominem have been swirling about Bored at Butler since its inception. Most notably (in my memory, anyway), a lot of people, or maybe just a few prolific posters, talked a lot of smack about some girl named Bethany. But there were other incidents, many others, and the incessant personal attacks, according to my source, made the entire B@B team continually anxious.

So there are these two TAs in Gateway, the SEAS equivalent of Frontiers. I’ll call them TA1 and TA2. They’re dating. Practically engaged. They’ve been known to call each other “fiancé” in public. Well, one day TA2 pulls up B@B and, lo and behold, discovers a post about herself: “Didn’t [TA1] fuck [TA2]?”

Enraged by this crassness, TA2 scours the site for someone to harangue, and — aha! — discovers the name of one of her Gateway students listed in the section devoted to the generous financial supporters of B@B. He’d donated a few bucks, that’s all. She emails him saying she’s absolutely shocked and horrified to learn that he, one of her tutees, one whom she’d thought mature beyond his years, no less, is affiliated with this cesspool of moral dissolution and puerility. She alleges slander and violation of her privacy rights, practically insinuating that she’s hiring an attorney.

The student in question forwards this scalding email to the B@B team, and, TA2’s sallies into irrationality aside, they decide they’ve had enough for the moment. It was, to use that wonderful cliché, the straw that broke the camel’s back. They pull the site offline for technical revamping (there are server issues that need work as well) and a rethinking of B@B’s privacy problems. It’ll be back, I’m assured, once they come up with “something better” for keeping the idiocy under control.

So there you have it. Bwog’s suggestion for crowd control: eliminate the anonymity. Oh, wait…

Update: It was lies! All lies! The truth is, the TA1/TA2 incident was dealt with quickly and satisfactorily and was not the cause of the current shutdown. B@B is down only for maintenance and redesign, including the creation of a new system for dealing with privacy incidents (like the one discussed above) more swiftly, and will be back when ready.

It made a good story, though.

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23 Comments

  • hmm says:

    @hmm you know, bwog is a place where people viciously and anonymously talk smack about others too…

    Is Bwog next?!

    1. defender of the first amendment says:

      @defender of the first amendment you know, the difference between bwog and b@b is that the bwog has overwhelming student support (as shown by its age) that the young b@b does not have

  • yo says:

    @yo One of the last b@b posts requires further investigation, bwog. Was there indeed a senior orgy in Morningside Park broken up by the cops? What’s the story?

  • nerve says:

    @nerve That TA has inappropriate nerve to act so self-importantly. Gossip has been around since people started walking upright, and there is no reason why a TA should consider himself immune, particularly if he is fucking another TA of large class full of freshman and doing so in a way that students from the class can see. Sounds to me like the case of a rich brat. Grad students have $ to hire lawyers every time someone says something about them they don’t like? Not last time I checked. Daddy, on the other hand, we all better watch out for.

    1. nerves of steel says:

      @nerves of steel What are you talking about? I don’t think many grad students in SEAS are nearly as affluent as the undergrads. If anyone is getting bankrolled by daddy it is the rich undergrads.

    2. whoever says:

      @whoever I think these two may be particularly on edge about student gossip.

      It’ll all be forgotten anyways; they just end up drawing attention to themselves.

    3. aint nothin wrong with love says:

      @aint nothin wrong with love I’ll be the first person to stand up for TA1 and TA2. So what if they’re weird and a little nerdy? They are both good people and there’s nothing wrong with them being happy together. I think we often forget how immature, and offensive we can be.

  • you have to admit, though says:

    @you have to admit, though there are a lot of privacy issues around b@b and its concept

  • a suggestion says:

    @a suggestion What if the forum were simply moderated? And I don’t mean excessively moderated, just something like a junk mail filter. That is, if one of B@B’s staff sees a post and thinks it extraordinarily idiotic (e.g. it references Bethany, Calvin, JHN, etc.) they could just move it to another “folder”.

    How about it? Keep the one big lovely page of anonymity, and have people move posts to a second page when they’re terrible, too personally revealing, or extraordinarily offensive.

    It could even modify the existing voting system, so that if a post got a certain amount of ‘votes for deletion’ it would be removed from the main page and put in a slush area of the site not searchable on Google, where users had to click ‘agree’ to a statement acknowleding that they were about to view racist, idiotic, or otherwise offensive drivel. (This would save moderators having to do any work). Instead of a “worst of the month” page, there would no longer be worst posts, they would just go to B@B purgatory. Problem solved.

  • Eric says:

    @Eric craig’s list does it just fine…if the community finds it offensive (i.e. enough votes), then delete the post!

    1. Bethany says:

      @Bethany “if the community finds it offensive” — collective solipsism, eh?

  • ian says:

    @ian B@B is definetly further proof of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory: http://sc.tri-bit.com/John_Gabriel's_Greater_Internet_Fuckwad_Theory

  • Jonathan Pappas says:

    @Jonathan Pappas Dear BWOG and readers,

    I am responding to this nonsense to correct a few rumors and verify a few truths. First, let me make it clear that boredatbutler.com was taken down for one reason, which is quite explicitly plastered on the front page: down for reconstruction. I’ve always had plans to cease activities during the summer to do as such, to take advantage of the fact that… Butler is going to be empty over summer! Why would I leave the Web site up when no one would be using it? Second, to reiterate my point, boredatbutler.com was BY NO MEANS influenced by complaints of privacy. If a complaint was received, at ANY time, I dealt with it as any professional Web site administrator would. That’s all. You may recall that boredatbutler.com was operational for nearly every 111 days that it existed… the Bethany and other such “trends” in dialogue have never significantly altered its mission.

    Now, on to the gossip. I applaud BWOG’s journalism on the side of research; the story about the TAs is true. I handled the situation quickly and was thanked for my quick response and cooperation. And boredatbutler.com continued on. Despite your thorough research, I am disappointed with BWOG’s ability to interpret that research in the manner in which legitimate journalists are expected. You have quite blatantly used the facts to draw your own assumptions and then attempt to pass them on as your own fabrications as “news.” Inside scoop? Shame on you. The boredatbutler.com team, which consisted of me alone, did not make me “continually anxious.” I did not decide that I’ve “had enough for the moment.” The privacy concerns of only a few people were not “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Boredatbutler.com’s activity dwindled towards the end of the year, as expected. I removed the Web site as planned and I am going to re-release a “reconstruction” when the time comes. In the meantime, “come back soon for news.”

    Sincerely,
    Jonathan Pappas CC ’06

    1. HL says:

      @HL Wow, the BWOG looks mad dumb. Anyone who knew anything about the b@b web site knew who the sole person was in charge of it. To post a claim of the inside truth without consulting this singular knowing person is… I’m not sure what.

      1. ... says:

        @... mad dumb.

      2. on the contrary says:

        @on the contrary While Pappas was the creator and main person involved with the site, I’m not sure why he discounts the other people who worked with him on it. There were a couple other names listed on the site in various roles, and there was an open invitation for others to come work on it. It’s quite possible some of those people were indeed made nervous, and that they interpreted the decision to close the site in exactly the manner Bwog described.

        The poster claiming to be Pappas is either not him or he is completing dismissing the opinions and contributions of his help.

      3. Not really says:

        @Not really The Bwog had B@B ads for awhile, I’m guessing they communicated in some way…

  • rip? says:

    @rip? RIP implies it’s dead. Just saying. On another note: b@b makes me sad. When people are completely anonymous, they feel compelled to say vulgar, vicious things about people they hardly know.

  • Stephen says:

    @Stephen TA1 and TA2 should know that it makes EVERYONE sick to their stomach to see their lovemaking in front of everyone. I mean their relationship was super innapropriate anyways…
    a. she was in his class when they started.
    b. it got her the job basically
    c. they are … not an attractive couple.

    ALL of the SEAS freshmen were complaining about it (grossy mcgrossness. I heard plenty when they came into our senior lab looking for help.

  • tired says:

    @tired that would be ‘completely’ not ‘completing’

  • well... says:

    @well... fiction is sort of like an inside scoop…

    oh, bwog.

  • Typical Bwog Fashion says:

    @Typical Bwog Fashion Typical Bwog fashion. Misrepresentation, over-stating inconsequential pieces of evidence and just overall poor journalism.

  • Jonathan Pappas says:

    @Jonathan Pappas a development blog has been released: http://www.boredatbutler.com

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