Since its invention, the Internet has created gray areas for libel and communication law, and two Twitter accounts have raised the issue at Youngstown State University.
With the rise in popularity of YSU Confessions and YSU Crushes comes a fight over the YSU logos used by the Twitter accounts.
Greg Morgione, associate general counsel for YSU, is working with other university officials to remove YSU insignia from the accounts.
“Twitter has a complaint form for unauthorized use of trademarks,” Morgione said. “They told us they would send an email to the administrator of the profile about being more clear about their non-affiliation with YSU.”
These accounts come on the heels of similar pages created at the University of Akron, Kent State University and Ohio State University.
YSU Crushes gives anyone the chance to post about students, faculty and staff they’re attracted to, but it has also been filled with a number of derogatory tweets.
Tweets of the sister account, YSU Confessions, have been derogatory as well — and most are about the university itself.
Ron Cole, director of university communications, said YSU would rather not be associated with posts of that nature.
“We need to protect those logos and trademarks,” Cole said.
The people managing the accounts have, so far, remained anonymous. However, YSU’s general counsel has taken notice of the accounts and is currently in contact with Twitter about making these accounts remove YSU logos and trademarks from their profiles.
Morgione said he would probably file a second complaint if the logos were not removed.
YSU freshman Bree Earich said that although YSU Crushes can be invasive, it’s also entertaining.
“[It] gives people a reason to keep going back on Twitter,” she said. “It’s the new thing everyone is talking about, and sometimes it is cool not knowing who’s posting things.”