The platform Greekrank was recognized by most to be a discussion board to put up gossip in regards to the newest happenings in campus Greek life. However simply two weeks in the past, the platform grew to become an avenue to unfold threats towards Cornell’s Jewish group.
These threats introduced nationwide consideration to Greekrank, a web site that describes itself as a platform that “strives to be the perfect place to find out about and work together with school Greek life.” Greekrank just isn’t affiliated with Cornell, and it hosts a number of avenues for anonymously discussing Greek life and rating sororities and fraternities on 819 school and college campuses.
On the web site, customers could make basic dialogue posts about Greek life, price and evaluation particular chapters of Greek organizations and price a university or college’s Greek life system as a complete. Patrick Dai ’24 used the dialogue part of the web site as an nameless person to make threats to the Cornell Jewish group, in line with courtroom paperwork, placing the web site’s content material moderation practices and deserves to Greek life underneath scrutiny.
Greekrank says that it removes “significantly unfavorable content material” that violates its phrases of use “in a well timed method.” The web site estimates that objectionable content material is eliminated inside seven to 10 days of a report however “normally sooner.” In a Nov. 3 electronic mail to The Solar, a consultant from Greekrank stated that the web site is “taking this chance to evaluation and strengthen [their] platform’s moderation processes” after responding to Dai’s threats of their dialogue boards and is “devoted to stopping the recurrence of such unacceptable incidents and to upholding the values of respect and security for everybody.”
Nevertheless, a put up from Oct. 26 that requires “loss of life to “Israel”” and “loss of life to America,” and calls on Hamas to kill “zionist pigs,” referencing an antisemitic trope, stays on the web site as of Nov. 12. This put up has not been attributed to Dai in courtroom paperwork however alludes to the Oct. 17 bombing of a Gazan hospital that Dai’s public defender stated was distressing to him and contains comparable rhetoric to posts reported to the FBI.
Whereas threats of violence like those Cornell not too long ago skilled are uncommon on the web site, Greekrank has struggled up to now to mitigate different kinds of dangerous content material, affecting Cornell and different schools and universities on the web site. At Vanderbilt College, a number of college students in July 2020 recognized Greekrank as a “platform via which hateful feedback from Greek members have been amplified.” A Vanderbilt Greekrank dialogue put up and related remark reposted to a public Instagram account earlier that month referred to as Black college students “smelly Ns” and “crack people who smoke.”
An op-ed posted to The Day by day Wildcat, the College of Arizona’s pupil newspaper, in March 2021 characterised the web site as a “poisonous hellscape of objectification,” citing feedback on the college’s Greekrank boards that decision ladies in varied sororities “trashy women who use their our bodies for reputation” or “some beaters however some wonderful a** smash worthy ones.”
A since deleted put up on Cornell’s Greekrank discussion board from Nov. 1 included comparable remarks, calling ladies affiliated with sure sororities “Jewish wifey[s]” or “lady[s] you would like you had been with when ur gf provides a toothy bl*w job.” It’s unknown whether or not this put up was eliminated via Greekrank’s reporting system.
Many college students in Cornell Greek life assume that the content material on Greekrank doesn’t characterize their organizations. A fraternity chief, who requested to stay nameless, referred to as the web site a “stain general on the group.”
The fraternity chief lamented that Cornell is without doubt one of the most energetic colleges on Greekrank, attributing this to the prevalence of aggressive attitudes among the many pupil physique which will stem from Cornell’s extremely selective admissions course of. As of Nov. 12, over 79,000 dialogue posts and feedback have been posted to Cornell’s Greekrank discussion board, and new posts, evaluations and feedback are made every day.
The overwhelming majority of the dialogue posts on the web site comprise solely a ranked checklist of fraternities or sororities on campus primarily based on their perceived relevance, with commenters “bumping” lists they deem agreeable to the highest of a college’s feed. The rankings on Greekrank are purported to be primarily based on a set of seven components, together with popularity, friendliness, reputation, classiness, involvement, social life and brotherhood/sisterhood, however posts usually deal with the perceived attractiveness of Greek members or different superficial components.
The fraternity chief stated that commentary and rankings on Greekrank present an inaccurate reflection of the Cornell Greek life expertise and cautioned potential new members towards seeking to the web site for helpful info.
“Greekrank is solely primarily based off of who throws good events, who mixes with what sorority [or] frat, and customarily who’s seen as the perfect on campus, which is completely not what you must search for while you rush,” the fraternity chief stated.
“[Greekrank]’s actually not an necessary a part of precise Greek life at Cornell,” he continued. “It’s simply unlucky that what occurs while you lookup Greek life at Cornell is that [Greekrank] comes up.”