‘Batman’ discusses Confessions page
January 30, 2014
One year ago, the “UW-Platteville Confessions” page on Facebook debuted, and had the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus buzzing.
Now, with more than 7,500 likes, which is just below the number of undergraduates at UW-Platteville, the creator of the page, who goes by the pseudonym of “Batman,” agreed to an interview with the Exponent.
This interview was conducted through the span of two weeks via Facebook’s chat function, as to not reveal the identity of those who moderate the page.
Bold type denotes the questions asked and regular type denotes “Batman’s” responses.
What was the inspiration to make the Confessions page?
I just felt like was something our campus could use: an outlet for students.
After the Exponent wrote the story about a year ago, what was the reaction that you got from the administration?
The only thing I heard from the administration was to put a non-affiliation notice so people knew we are not associated with the university. (This notice can be found on the page’s cover photo). A few people contacted me unofficially and said some people in the staff really wanted to get the page shut down. I haven’t heard much since then, however.
There have been rumors that there are multiple people who run the site. Are you willing to confirm or deny that?
Yes, there are three others who are working for the page.
How did you decide on the others who would help you run the page?
I posted to the page saying that I was looking for some help moderating. They had to meet specific qualifications, such as having no affiliation with the campus other than being a student there.
After seeing the things posted, out of 10 posts, how many would you say are real?
Probably seven of 10 (are real) would be my guess. I try to minimize posts that are obviously fake.
Do you decide not to post things you think are clearly fake or untrue?
It’s not my belief that people would follow the page if it were clear that some posts are fake. While many people believe that (they are) all just rumors, I find it easier to verify posts that are true, instead of posts that are false. This is why you won’t find posts on the Confessions page that can be easily discounted.
How do you feel about people who post about crimes of theft, vandalism or whatever else?
I’ll post it, but not any violent crimes.
Do you get a lot of violent crimes sent to you? Do you feel any obligation to tell the police of those violent crimes?
I haven’t received any submissions of violent crimes, but yes, those would be reported to local law enforcement.
This may be hard because there have been so many, but do you have any particular confessions that stick out as your favorite?
Not in particular. I’ve had my favorites, but it gets hard to remember them all, and it’s difficult to go back and look through all of them.
To what do you attribute the page’s popularity? Do you think people like the humor aspect, or maybe the possible embarrassment of being tagged in a comment?
I actually think the Confessions page has become more of a student’s perspective on events around campus.
When something big happens, there are always submissions about it. That’s only part of it, though.
It is still a place for students to confess about things they have actually done. I believe that it is the largest and most-updated collection of student happenings on campus.
Do you feel like the fact that they remain anonymous increases the popularity?
Of course anonymity increases the popularity because people would just post their confessions on their own (timeline) if it wasn’t anonymous.