If you are part of an active Jamia student community online, then you probably have already come across a ‘Confessions’ facebook page for your faculty or department. And if you haven’t, then don’t worry, somebody in your department or faculty is probably already thinking of setting one up.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a Confessions facebook page is the latest internet fad gripping colleges and universities all over India. It’s a facebook page where people can confess their feelings for others anonymously. The anonymity comes from a Google form that can record your confession anonymously. The administrator of the confessions page then takes those confessions, vets them, and publishes them on the confessions facebook page for everybody to read.
The trend seems to have started at Oxford University only a few months ago. The founding date on the Oxford confessions page is November, 2012. But it seems the fad really picked up when American universities got into the action. Stanford, Harvard, MIT all have their confessions page. And it wasn’t long then for Indian colleges and universities to get onto the band wagon. Almost every notable university and college in India now has one; and Jamia is no exception.
In the past few weeks, students of several faculty and departments at Jamia have created their confessions page on facebook. It is not certain which faculty or department was the first one to create a confessions page at Jamia, but what we are certain of is that students of Faculty of Engineering were among the earliest, and seem to have the most popular confessions page in Jamia.
The founding date for their confessions page is Feb. 27th, and in about two weeks their page have garnered over 700 ‘Likes’ and have close to a 1000 confessions.
A typical confession on this page can read something like this:
“i like a girl from architecture , i dnt knw her name or nethng abt her .I use to watch her daily in our canteen , today she was in yellow sleeveless top and blue jeans . Please only once i want to interact with u then u can decide on your own whether u want to date me or not .If u r reading this and also want to meet me then pls rply to me here or anonymously . If sm1 else know abt her please tell me her name i will b oblidge to u ppl .she z architecture. #male”
Although a typical confession might be a confession of love, which was the purported idea behind such a page, confessions however, are not restricted to confessions of love. Students are saying all sorts of stuff that they normally would not say with their identities known.
Take this one for instance:
“Dear Hostel waalo’n aur batla house ke tuchchey chichhoro’n
College mein INSAAN banker aaya karo
I mean, shakal dhoker, subah uth’ker kapdey change karker (naaki wahi pehanker jismein raat ko soye they) aur haaan, most important, SHOES pehanker, not in ghinauni CHAPPALS
Tumhari wajah se JMI ka naam badnaaam hai chichhhoro’n !
Apni nahi, to humari to socho ! #female”
Interview with an Admin of a Confessions facebook page:
Jamia Journal interviewed one of the administrators of the “JMI – Faculty of Engineering and Technology Confessions” facebook page to find out more about this latest trend at Jamia. Since it can be risky running a confessions page with your real identity, the administrators also choose to remain anonymous. Because of which, we had to conduct our interview on facebook. And therefore, Jamia Journal does not know the identity of our interview subject.
Following is an excerpt from the interview. It has been slightly edited for syntax and brevity:
JJ: What is “JMI – Faculty of Engineering and Technology Confessions” about?
It is an online platform where people can confess their feelings for another individual. There are times and situations in which one is not able to speak their heart out and repent later. This platform provides them a way to do so, not necessarily anonymously. Thus, it is an attempt to bridge the communication gap among students.
JJ: How does it work?
There is no rocket science behind this page. The back-end of this page is a Google document where all the confessions get recorded. Initially, we used a PHP script to redirect everything being posted to this document onto Facebook. However, after receiving a lot of complaints regarding the content of the confessions being posted by people, we changed this automatic redirection of posts to manual. Now, we have to read every confession, analyze it if it violates any rules of the page, and then post it on the actual Facebook page.
JJ: Who is/are behind this facebook page? Is this a one person operation, or is there a team. We read somewhere, that it is believed that the admin(s) of this page is a girl or a group of girls. Is that true? Tell us whatever you can about yourself.
Final year engineering students are behind this page. Initially, a single person was the admin of this page. However, due to unexpected traffic being experienced by this page, it became virtually impossible for a single person to manage it all. It is then that another admin was created. Soon, we had to recruit another admin to keep the page updated at all times. At present, we are a team of 3 strong, all male (contrary to the rumours, if any). That said, we want to have some female admins too, preferably not of final year. It will not only lessen our burden, it will also diversify the team. Once we leave college, we would be handing over the admin rights to some of our juniors to manage the page.
We do not want to disclose our identity since such knowledge will be of no use. Also, people might then consider it as a personal page which might be biased. We would like to assure anyone reading this that we are 100% fair in posting of the confessions. We post all the confessions which do not violate the rules and are not in bad taste. Sometimes, due to heavy traffic, some inappropriate confessions do get posted. However, we remove any confession immediately after receiving a request from a user.
We made this page out of curiosity. We never thought people really have got so much to confess. I think the reason why so many confession pages are coming up is that people want to hide their identity and then post something about someone.
JJ: We noticed that this page was created on Feb.27th. And you have over 700 Likes in such a short span of time. How did you get so popular in such a short time?
It is true that we received more than 700 likes in a very short span of time. A reason for the same can be that this page provided students a means to express themselves anonymously. Also, this attempt was one of the first of its kind in Jamia. Another reason could be that it was exclusively for the engineering students who apparently have got a lot of time to spare and confess which I personally find quite weird. We never expected such kind of a response. This page was created out of boredom; we were having our sessional exams and we just didn’t want to study.
JJ: It seems the only people confessing are Engineering students. Is that just because other students in the university don’t know about your page, or do you only accept confessions from engineering students?
As the name of the page says, it is exclusively for the engineering students. It is not that students of other faculties do not know about this page. It is just that we being engineering students wanted to create a page for our own faculty. Had it been a general page, it would have been difficult to manage. We have so far received more than 400 messages asking us to remove some post or the other. We have more than 1500 confessions in our back end out of which we have posted around 900. We have to read every confession and then post it which consumes a lot of time. It has become quite hectic and we find it very difficult to keep the page updated at all times. Thus, creating a general page for over 15,000 students was not a feasible idea.
JJ: How many confessions do you get in a day, and how many of them do you post in a day?
On an average, we receive almost 150 confessions per day. As I said, initially, everything was getting posted due to automatic redirection. However, since we have started doing it manually, approximately 70-80 confessions are posted everyday (the others being unfit to be posted on a public platform).