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College 'Confessions' pages allowing co-eds to vent anonymously

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

From sexcapades in the student union -- to cries for help. College and high school students are revealing their deepest, darkest secrets on Facebook. But they're doing it anonymously on what are called "confession" pages.

These campus confession pages are popping up around the country. The pages are not run by the schools, but students. Posts are typically vulgar. Some say they promote bullying, but there are posts that are alarming to some.

"Last year I had sex in the Sonora 5th floor lounge."

"Today some friends and I were pulled over on our way back from a party. We'd had a few drinks so we tried to play it cool just in case we were over the limit."

"I had sex in the Devils Den at Taylor Place. Twice."

These are just some of the more toned-down posts students have posted on the ASU Confessions Facebook page.

"There is a bag full of pure form MDMA in the nightstand next to my bed, I am extremely addicted to it."

The page was started in February and already has 3,700 likes.

"Really raunchy," says Jacquelyn Melling, ASU student.

"It's pretty popular, you see a lot of different sexual stuff on there," says Marcus Jackson, ASU student.

"It's still the internet so everyone just puts whatever they feel," says Sam Dankberg.

While most on the ASU confessions page are graphic, there are some more serious posts, on there and on the NAU confessions page.

"I feel like there's no place for me in this world anymore."

"I start an intense cancer treatment in about two weeks. I'm scared s---less."

Dr. Brian Case, a therapist at Psychological Counseling Services, says people posting are just looking for validation and support.

"Teenagers, if they put something on there, they don't get a few likes their day can be ruined," says Dr. Case.

The more serious posts typically prompted sympathetic responses from students, some even providing information on counseling resources.

But Dr. Case is concerned that those needing help might not realize they probably won't get it from this kind of site.

"This is not a suicide prevention hotline, this isn't run by the university to try to help you, this is another form of voyeuristic entertainment for the most part."

Some Tucson high schools successfully lobbied Facebook to shut down confession pages, saying they led to bullying.

Police in other states have monitored the pages.

We spoke with the creator of the ASU Confessions page on Facebook who told me he or she monitors the confessions, and can see the IP addresses and would not hesitate to contact Tempe police regarding a confession if needed.

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