Administrator takes down "UW Crushes," apologizes

Apr 26, 2013

Page administers have removed UW Crushes from Facebook.  This follows a public backlash to a post that directed violent sexual language at a University of Wyoming student.

UW Crushes was not affiliated with the university.

The page allowed users to anonymously submit messages about other UW students. Many were vague compliments, but some were sexually explicit or use real names.

On Wednesday night, an unnamed "UW Crushes" poster targeted undergraduate Meg Lanker-Simons, a blogger and community radio show host who is a vocal advocate for many progressive social issues. The explicit post said her liberal messages made the poster angry, and that the poster wanted to have sex with Lanker-Simons until she became a quote “good Republican.” Lanker-Simons says she felt threatened.

UW students and alumni responded angrily to the post, demanding the page administrators take it down, or employ stricter moderation before posting comments that are explicit or use people’s names.

The University of Wyoming police began an investigation yesterday to determine who was responsible for the post and is considering whether it constitutes a criminal violation.

In another post on the UW Crushes page yesterday, the unnamed administrators identified themselves as “Engineering students” who did not have time to read messages before posting them.

After taking down the page, the founder of UW Crushes wrote in an e-mail to Wyoming Public Radio: It was an unintentional stupid mistake made by me posting it as I should have screened all the posts, but I took the easiest way in order to save time and get back quickly to my studies, and I repeat that I'm extremely sorry for doing it. I'm sorry Mrs. Simons. I'm sorry UW. I'm sorry for all people who got hurt because of me. Only God knows how pure my intentions were, but the wind always comes with what the ships don't desire. I'm looking for forgiveness because I'm only a human-being, neither an angel, nor a systematic robot. Yet, I think lots of people attending UW should follow their logic more than their emotions.

The administrator did not identify himself or herself, but wrote that they hope Lanker-Simons will forgive them.