Why? What do you hope to achieve?
That is all I have to ask the anonymous creators of ACGG.
For those of you who don’t know, campus seems to be abuzz with news about this new twitter account called “Amherst College Gossip Girl” (ACGG). Undoubtedly adopted from the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar and the subsequent TV show “Gossip Girl”, ACGG is an anonymous group of an undetermined size made up of Amherst students. In the book/show, Gossip Girl receives tips from the people of New York City about their friends, enemies, and random people on the streets (though her topics typically focus on Manhattan’s upper elite). Gossip Girl then posts these photos and comments back up on her website (most people receive text updates) without revealing her sources, creating a viscous network of informants with their own agendas.
While I hate to fuel their fire by acknowledging the twitter account at all, I am positively miffed that Amherst students actually decided to adopt this concept. I literally cannot believe it; it is disgusting, unnecessary, and downright mean. I can forgive a lot of things in a person, but causing pain for pain’s sake is as low as it goes. These salacious rumors, while theoretically based in fact (I’m not here to contest that, because a. I couldn’t read it all, it made me sick to my stomach and b. being true is still appalling), are not meant to be positive, constructive, or serve a purpose other than to spread gossip, humiliate, and make public things that shouldn’t be.
The written word is an incredibly powerful median and has historically been recognized as such. The fact that most places in the world do not enjoy freedom of speech today is a testament to its strength. You would think a school like Amherst would turn out conscientious citizens who would recognize the power they have and not put it so such poor use.
I cannot/will not sit here on my high horse and admonish anyone for gossip among their confidantes because let’s be honest, every single person has gossiped at one point or another, myself included. That doesn’t make it okay or good, just an unfortunate facet of human nature. But that in no way makes it okay to abuse technology and exacerbate this already shameful habit.
I write for she-bomb to entertain. When I write an article, or anything for that matter, I write things that people can relate to. I write things I hope people can read and identify with or find helpful in their lives. I never write to attack, to slander, to tease. While I’d like to make people smile, let’s be honest, not everyone is going to like everything that I write. But you can bet I never write with the goal of singling out or isolating anyone. Every single thing ACGG writes inherently hurts or embarrasses someone on a large and public scale. While many may laugh and see entertainment in the twisted puns, it is at the expense of others. C’mon ACGG, you want to work on your puns? Write a poem. If you want to be caustic, cutting, and puny, try satire. Try being constructive. Otherwise, keep it to yourself.
If you insist on being a nasty human being, stand up and put your name beside it. It’s really easy to tear people, even your friends, down without your name next to your comments. But if you’re going to be a bully, at least have the guts to stand by your remarks. Anonymity is for cowards.
And all I will say to the rest of Amherst who is not involved in this website, is stop “following” them on twitter. Don’t give them attention and the positive feedback that will tell them this is okay. Don’t be a bystander.