Sorry Folks, No More School ListsOne of the more popular types of lists on TheTopTens are school lists where students create top ten lists ranking their peers. There have been dozens of these lists added to TheTopTens and they are among the most voted on and most commented on lists on the site.
At TheTopTens, we have allowed these types of lists providing they are positive in nature. As long as the list was a best of list such as the nicest, funniest, smartest, most athletic, or prettiest people in a school, we accepted it. Lists such as the ugliest, nerdiest, or fattest kids in a school were rejected. This philosophy also extended to comments where we only approved comments that we felt were 100% positive. Any comment that was derogatory, abusive, or vulgar was deleted.
The school lists turned out to be very similar to an assignment I had in middle school where each person in the class had a paper where everyone else in the class was suppose to write an anonymous compliment. So, one the assignment was done, each person had a paper in front of them with 25 or so compliments from the other people in the class. The activity was designed to be a self-esteem booster and I felt it worked well.
However, even though we have made an effort to ensure that the overall tone of these lists is positive, not everyone has been a fan of school lists. Over the years, we have had isolated objections to some lists from students, parents and school administrators. Without fail responded to the wishes of these people and have removed names and entire lists whenever it was requested
Despite the popularity of these lists, we have decided to revise our initial stance on school lists because, while the lists may be similar to the self-esteem exercise, there are two key difference.
First, lists on TheTopTens are public. The very thing that had made the lists so popular, is also what tends to cause people the most concern. Unlike the self-esteem exercise, the student's name and the things said about a them on TheTopTens can be read by anyone.
For most students, this isn't a problem. It appears to be one of the draws of these types of lists to be able to type your name into Google and find it name on TheTopTens. But not everyone shares this view and since we have no way of knowing which people would like their names made public and which would not, our only option is to not publish any names.
Secondly, the lists on TheTopTens are also different from the self-esteem exercise because of the ranking component. In the exercise, your compliments were not compared to anyone else's and nobody had more compliments than anyone else. But on TheTopTens, even though the only comments that get published are positive, the fact that some people get more more votes and more comments than others can be seen as a negative.
For these reasons, we have decided to remove the school lists from TheTopTens and will no longer be accepting lists ranking people who are not celebrities. It is unfortunate that the positive aspects of these lists have to disappear along with the negative, but this site simply isn't the best platform for anonymous complimenting. Perhaps someone will take the initiative to make a site where students can say kind things about their peers in a way that overcomes the problems we have described above.
Posted May 12, 2010 by admin .