With anonymity, students compliment each other on Facebook
Editor's note: Within hours of the publication of this article, the page changed its name to "Tiger Compliments."
Over the past few days, a Facebook account called Pton Compliments has filled up students’ newsfeeds with compliments about their classmates. The project, created last Thursday, solicits compliments from students through a Google document and posts them anonymously on Facebook, tagging the recipient.
The project was inspired by a similar version introduced two months ago at Queen’s University in Canada that later spread to schools such as Harvard, Yale, McGill University, Columbia, Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford and Penn.
The creator of Pton Compliments is unidentified on the website.
“I’m afraid people might be uncomfortable with submitting if they know who’s reading, so I think it’s just better if they don’t know,” said the creator, a female senior who was granted anonymity discussing the project.The senior said she decided to start Princeton’s own complimenting project last week when she came across Columbia Compliments. She chose to launch Pton Compliments mostly as “thesis procrastination.”
“I was just on Facebook, and a bunch of my friends from Columbia were ‘liking’ and posting on Columbia Compliments,” she said. “I looked at it and thought, ‘Oh, this is really cute.’ ”
She is currently working on the project with one friend, and the two of them have been posting all the compliments to Facebook. The two post about 10 to 12 compliments an hour when they are on the account.
The moderators used to accept compliments through Facebook messaging, but they have now switched to receiving them through Google Docs. Since the change, over 400 compliments have flooded in. As of Tuesday at noon, over 500 compliments had been submitted, and over 300 of them have been posted on Facebook.
The creator attributed Pton Compliments’ success to the promptness of the posts. Princeton’s version is one of the fastest-spreading complimenting projects compared to those on other campuses, and Pton Compliments currently has just shy of 1,700 friends on Facebook.
Oge Ude ’16, who received a compliment entitled “An Od-e to Oge: A Compliment in Verse,” called the compliment “the highlight of my semester.”
Ude added that she appreciated the great number of compliments posted about freshmen.
“It’s a nice way to just make people know that, even if you’ve been here for a short amount of time, you can still make an impact, which is something that you don’t really feel like you do freshman year,” Ude said.
The creator of Pton Compliments added, however, that she has received a couple of compliments that she and her friend screened out because they were “mean-spirited.”
“There have been a couple that are inappropriate, like stuff I don’t want to post on a public account associated with Princeton’s name,” she said. “For the most part, we try not to filter anything.”
The creator also noted some negative feedback about privacy issues.
“I know some people think we might be in it just to stalk people,” she said. “So I just want to assure everyone that there’s nothing weird, and if you’re worried about us stalking, then you can just put us on restricted. We only want to be friends with you so that we can tag you.”
Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa ’14, who received a compliment on Sunday, said Pton Compliments is cultivating a culture of appreciation on campus.
“In this place, I feel like we’re always, like, on the go, on the go, on the go, and we don’t necessarily feel that everyone sees us,” Tawengwa said. “We don’t necessarily feel that we’re making a mark, that people are appreciating us, and so to have someone do that on such a public form, I mean, that’s almost like a proposal. I wish I knew who it was so that I could just hug them and lavish them with love.”
Editor's note: During the reporting process, the reporter was featured in one of the 400 compliments, in a submission by a friend.