as told to Marlee Katz, Fashion Writer
UW-Madison Confessions took Facebook by storm last week, acquiring thousands of ‘likes’ in a mere few days. The site allows UW-Madison students to post secret confessions through an anonymous survey system, ensuring both the contributors’ and creator’s anonymity. Continue reading for the inside scoop on the site that everyone’s buzzing about!
Q. When and why did you decide to make this page?
A. I made it February 11, 2013 while bored in lecture.
Q. How did it get such an immense following so quickly?
A. I believe the page got such a quick following because it gives students and people a confidential area to talk about their wildest things they otherwise wouldn’t.
Q. Will you ever give up your name?
A. For legal reasons at this time my name will remain a secret. Only a close group of personal advisors know my true identity.
Q. What are some of the funniest/most memorable/weirdest confessions that you have read?
A. There have been a lot of great confessions.
Q. When did you decide to make UW-Confessions a brand and put up a shop online? Has it been a successful experience?
A. I decided right away to make the brand. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before people tried copying it. The clothing store has been mildly successful, but that’s not my main focus. I plan on launching a website within the next month.
Q. Are you a student here at the UW?
A. I am a student here.
Q. Have you gotten any negative feedback about the page from UW staff and administration?
A. I was contacted by lawyers from UW-Madison but we quickly reached a deal, and the page was embraced.
Q. How many hours do you spend a day on the UW-Madison Confessions page?
A. About 1-2 hours roughly.
Q. Are you a boy or a girl?
A. I can not confirm for identity reasons.
Q. Have you had any experiences where someone has posted a confession and the person it was about contacted you?
A. No, but there have been comments about people. I don’t have time to read all of them.
Q. Did you ever think UW-Madison Confessions would get this big? What were your initial expectations?
A. I expected it to be big. Maybe 3-4 thousand, but I never expected it to be this big. I’m very happy with it.
Q. A lot of people say that you create fake posts to build the hype up about the page? What do you have to say about that?
A. I have never created fake posts. I only post the confessions I get. However, there is no way to know if those confessions are true or not. I make that clear.
Q. How does the process work to keep the posts and yourself totally anonymous?
A. I go through a confidential survey service. I can not see any info on anything that is posted.
Q. Do you know who sends in the submissions from Survey Monkey or is everything completely anonymous?
A. I do not see anything to Survey Monkey. 100% secret.
Q. Do you think That UW confessions is lowering the value of our diplomas because it’s making the University be seen in a negative light as a party school rather than an academic institution?
A. No I don’t. Madison is ranked the #2 [party] school in the nation so that thought was already out there.
Q. What steps will you take to address posts about unsafe sex and sexual assault on campus?
A. Sexual assaults are something I take extremely seriously. My aunt was a rape victim, and my uncle is the owner of a sexual assault awareness company. People have come to me with concerns about sexual assault, I have directed them to campus resources or other resources to the get the help they deserve and need. However, I can’t see every comment that is posted. I also think that it is healthy to have a debate about things and educate people about the severity and importance of sexual assault through this page. I don’t posts any confessions that glorify sexual assault or admit to rape. However when there is a confession that some interpret [as such], I address concerns via my private inbox and I allow a dialogue to take place on the comments.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A. A professor who was unaware I was The Creator, told me that publicly the school will never admit to being happy about this page, but privately they couldn’t be happier. He said this is the most online attention the school has ever gotten, and it’s spreading all over the country, which the school anticipates will be great for new applications.
Visit UW-Madison Confessions at facebook.com/UWMadisonConfessions, or follow them on Twitter at @UWConfessions.