@KSUCrushes closes after reveal

Taylor Williams

KSU Crushes creator, sophomore Visual Communication Design major Erin Lee revealed herself on Black Squirrel Radio’s “Straight Talk,” Oct. 2 and announced her plans to shut down the page because she believes it causes more harm than good.

Recent social media trends have resulted in multiple anonymous Twitter accounts at universities across the nation, and Kent State has been no exception.

Anonymous Twitter accounts at Kent include KSU Crushes, KSU Confessions and KSU Problems. Stefanie Moore, journalism and mass communication assistant professor, said there’s a reason accounts such as these keep popping up.

“People hide behind the sense of security these accounts hold,” Moore said.

Lee, sophomore visual communication design major, is the person behind KSU Crushes, a Twitter account through which students could anonymously submit the names of their crushes.

Although Lee was nervous and “afraid students would be mad at her,” she said there have been no problems so far.

Lee said she created KSU Crushes March 2013, after seeing an Ohio University crushes account. By April, Lee was receiving 70 to 100 “crushes” submitted through an anonymous ask.fm account connected to the crushes Twitter account each day.

“I started getting a lot of emails from a girl with crushes about herself,” said Lee, who publicly said the site should not be abused in this way. After receiving feedback from students that this site caused some self-esteem issues, she realized the page was harmful to students and should no longer continue.

Moore said she thinks it was very noble of Lee to assess how this account is affecting students.

“More people are becoming aware of cyber-bullying,” Moore said. Not only that but also more people are more concerned with how it is affecting others.

Kent State students also think these anonymous sites can cause serious emotional harm to their peers.

“When you can recognize something on your own that is causing negativity, it’s time to do something about it,” sophomore journalism major Noah Ickowicz said on “Straight Talk,” which he hosts, Wednesday evening.

While Lee was running the page, she tried to filter tweets and deleted the ones that were solely meant to hurt the person they were about.

“It was so hard to go through each one and decide what should be posted and what shouldn’t.”

Lee said a lot of her friends suspected it was her but didn’t know for sure until she decided to reveal herself and close the page.

Lee said she doesn’t think people should rely on social media for their own self-worth but isn’t sure this trend of anonymous accounts will slow down any time soon.

“Anonymous accounts can be very dangerous,” Lee said.

Out of the thousands of crushes she tweeted, Lee said she only heard from two or three people that they had met someone through the page.

“It is just copy and pasting, but at the same time, it’s a lot more than just copy and pasting,” said Lee, who no longer wants to be part of something that could be considered a weapon.

At least three new “crushes” pages have popped up on Kent State social media since

Lee announced she was shutting down KSU Crushes; however, the new pages haven’t gained momentum like the original.

Of the new KSU Crushes proprietors, Ickowicz said, “They don’t realize what they are taking on.”

Contact Taylor Williams at [email protected].