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On Campus Drama lets students speak without censorship

Tired of being told that you need to censor your Facebook profile content for fear of offending a future employer? Looking for a place to post your blog where Mom can’t leave comments? OnCampusDrama.com is here to help.

The new social networking website, which launched Sept. 1, is designed to be a forum for college students to express themselves freely, away from the prying eyes of family and coworkers.

Anthony Pisciotto, OnCampusDrama creator, said he came up with the concept of the website as he saw other popular websites expanding beyond their original college student user base.

“With Facebook being taken away and College Humor going more corporate, we came up with the idea of a website more or less for college students,” Pisciotto said.  

The website currently has 1,002 registered users, according to Pisciotto.

While OnCampusDrama.com is still in the process of developing content, Pisciotto said he hopes the website will become the go-to site for information about campus social life. He plans to expand individual college profiles to include videos and blogs so that users can see what is happening on campuses near them and across the country.

Pisciotto said he also hopes to see more videos uploaded to the site.

“We have a couple of guys that do original videos,” he said, “the videos have been featured on MTV’s Pranked,” he continued. “We’re really trying to get out there and get original film,” he elaborated, noting that the site has increased efforts to advertise at film schools in New York.

 UMass’ OnCampusDrama.com representative, Evan Hallal, said the website emphasizes user control over content, allowing users to determine the size and extensiveness of their profiles. Users must register in order to upload material to the site, however, they can use fictitious names on their profiles. 

“The difference [from Facebook] is it’s no holds barred,” said Hallal, “there’s less restriction about what people can say or do.” “We kind of pride ourselves on letting students be students and try not to censor them too much,” he stated.

Pisciotto said that users were held to a certain amount of accountability for what they post on the site.

“You can’t comment on the site unless you make a profile, we try to keep it clean,” he said.

The differences between OnCampusDrama and social networking sites like Facebook are clear from the website’s homepage, which prominently displays staff picked photos of a “hottie of the week.”

“Hot girls seem to drive [the site], I guess that’s what people want to see,” Pisciotto said. “I get a lot of pictures of hot girls,” he furthered.

Because the site is only a few months old, many college profiles have little or no information on them, with few active users. UMass’ page currently has 12 users, a figure Hallal is trying to change by promoting the website on campus.

Pisciotto said he also hoped to expand his website’s visibility and is open to feedback about what users want to see from his website.

“[OnCampusDrama.com] is something to kill time, a place to get a couple of laughs, to see what’s going on around the campus and around the country and brings more universities together,” Pisciotto said.

Niina Heikkinen can be reached at nheikkin@student.umass.edu.

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