Facebook page to whisper its last secret

Marita Vlachou , News Editor

After more than 8,000 secrets, NYU Secrets founder Aristo Orginos announced on Sunday the page will end once it hits 9,000 posts.

Orginos, a Steinhardt senior, said ending the page was a tough decision.

“I feel pretty torn up about it, and it was a decision that I really labored over,” Orginos said. “Primarily, my passion ran out. With each passing day, NYU Secrets became more and more of a job and less and less of a passion.”

NYU Secrets was first established in November 2012, with the mission of sharing anonymous secrets and building a community within NYU. Orginos said he initially planned to keep the page going past his graduation, however he now feels he can no longer continue it.

“But running NYU Secrets at this point is like driving a car that’s almost empty,” Orginos said. “You keep looking at the gas meter nervously, you know it’s running out soon. You can’t enjoy the ride anymore — you can’t enjoy the scenery. You just think about the next gas station, how much it’ll cost. Secret number 9000 is my ‘empty tank.’ ”

Orginos, who is currently employed in NYU Residential Life, expects the page to be finished sometime between March and April. He added that monitoring the page has been stressful.

“After two years, you have the confessions of thousands running around in your head,” Orginos said. “And it’s stressful. And it’s burdensome. And you want to help everyone, but you can’t. That isn’t your job. You are the conduit, not the therapist. Running NYU Secrets has been emotionally exhausting—and I am exhausted.”

Orginos added that his recent outing by NYU Local this summer contributed to his decision to end the page.

“I still maintain that what NYU Local did was one of the worst things anyone has done to me,” Orginos said. “And yes, it has affected me and my decision.”

Throughout the years NYU Secrets has existed, there have been several new pages mimicking NYU Secrets, including Secrets 2.0, NYU Secrets 3.0 and REAL NYU Secrets.

Orginos said he is skeptical about the vitality of these pages and others who would want to take up the task of moderating NYU Secrets. He said transferring control of the page might compromise the privacy of the page.

“It seems selfish outwardly, and I get that,” Orginos said. “But it’s really not. When I began this page, I made the unyielding promise that I would not reveal anyone’s secrets. That was the fundamental tenet of the page. Turning control over to someone else would be
undermining this.”

The Facebook page currently has 35,392 followers. As of now, 8,732 secrets have been posted. Throughout the page’s run, it was often criticized for its reputation for generating controversy. Steinhardt sophomore Hannah Weverka said she does not believe NYU Secrets created a community within NYU.

“I’ve always been surprised that people praise NYU Secrets for ‘fostering community’ — I’ve never really associated ‘community’ with the anonymity, toxicity and Facebook arguments that I see on NYU Secrets,” Weverka said. “Maybe a sense of community is missing at NYU, but I think that’s a big and complex problem, and I don’t think the best solution to it was the existence of a Facebook page.”

CAS sophomore Gagarin Zhao said while she is sad NYU Secrets will no longer exist, she believes it is better for it to end while students are still interested.

“It should know when to end, and now seems like a good time,” Zhao said. “I’d rather see it conclude on a good note than slowly be forgotten after too many years. I’m just glad I got to experience it for the two years that I’ve been here.”

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 4 print edition. Email Marita Vlachou at [email protected].