Facebook page gets in trouble

Popular Facebook page UVM Confessions shut down over the weekend after being found in violation of the University’s trademark policy, causing its formerly anonymous administrators to come forward with their identities. 

On Saturday seniors Robin Yang, Luke Rossi and Inessa Manuelyan revealed themselves as the students behind UVM Confessions, a Facebook page that had more than 5,000 followers, in a post that stated the page was shutting down to avoid getting into “legal trouble.”

“Two days ago, Nick [Negrette, assistant dean of students for retention] messaged me and said ‘please take it down immediately,'” Yang said. “[UVM] called up their lawyer and told me they were going to put me through Student Ethics.”

The use of “UVM” in the title violated the University’s trademark policy, explained Negrete in an email. In addition, UVM has a University Operating Procedure for University Sponsored Media. UVM clearly did not sponsor the page, but with the use of its name it “gave a false perception” that it was a University sanctioned, he wrote. 

 More concerning to Negrette, however, was the nature of some posts that expressed stalking-like behavior and self-harm. 

“One particular instance included 19 people contacting Police Services over someone’s posting about suicidal ideation,” he wrote. “Additionally, Counseling & Psychiatry Services were called numerous times, as well as Residential Life members.” In all instances, no one was hurt. 

Yang, who created the page last January after noticing that other colleges had similar pages, said she was surprised both at its popularity, and the fact that administrators felt some of its posts were extreme enough to warrant action.

“Most schools are fine with it but I had a friend message me saying that her friend got expelled for creating a page and refusing to take it down, which scared me,” she said.