4th February 2011 at 00:00

Not so hot gossip

FErret loves a bit of gossip, but some students are using an anonymous message board to take things way too far. Kingston College lecturers complained to the police after students posted messages allegedly threatening violence and rape against them on the website www.littlegossip.com.

The offending messages were deleted after college lawyers complained to the site, and police are investigating whether they constitute an offence (it will be technically difficult to identify any offenders).

Similar complaints from schools have seen all of their details deleted from the site, which is intended for over-18s. But since colleges also have adult students, they remain, though judging from the grammar and slang there don't appear to be many adult users. College IT admins who have not already blocked the site will surely be considering it.

FErret waded bravely into the cesspool to see what's going on. Many of the comments are misogynistic or homophobic and too dreary to repeat, although the students or the site admins have a curious sense of delicacy, censoring "s***" but allowing "twat", and worse, to be used with impunity.

Some are whimsical: "john is a secret agent working for the north korean government. he is a trained ninja be cautious when around him."

A couple are glowing reviews: "best college ever"; "this college is better than hogwarts. trust me i went there last year." And while the abusive comments about staff have disappeared, for some reason the maths department did not get around to objecting to this remark about them: "pengggggg." FErret will let www.urbandictionary.com explain: "adj. Often used to describe a person. Means `fit' or `hot' or `good-looking'. That boy is well peng."

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