The CUCommunity-Facebook War was a conflict waged in March 2004 between active members of Columbia social network CUCommunity and an inferior personal profile website founded by a student at an inferior 'peer' school. The records of the 'war', such as it was, consist largely of calls to arms and action by Columbia students on CUCommunity (CUCom featured journals and comments long before Facebook had 'notes', 'comments' or any sort of interactivity), which unfortunately have been lost to time, and long-forgotten reporting by the Spectator and Harvard Crimson.
The key feature the war was an attempt by Cody Hess to Google-bomb a number of sites, including associating thefacebook.com with the search “CUcommunity ripoff”, harvard.edu with “worthless safety school”, columbiaspectator.com with “worthless rag newspaper”. Hess was interviewed by the Harvard Crimson during this episode and explained that "[i]t’s important for people at Columbia to know that they’re better than people at other colleges." Hess's attempts met limited success and ultimately led to his own website's search-ranking being significantly dropped by Google, or as he called it "Google-murdered."
The short-lived fight with Facebook also led to a feud between CUCommunity users and the Spectator, which CUCom users felt ignored CUCommunity, and then promoted Facebook at CUCommunity's expense.
Timeline of events
Major events in bold
- January 29, 2004- STAFF EDITORIAL: A Welcome Distraction, Columbia Spectator editorial endorsing the efforts of CUCommunity
- February 25, 2004- Online CU Community Draws Students Together, Columbia Spectator article on CUCommunity
- March 04, 2004- "New Harvard-Based Facebook Adds Columbia To Database", Columbia Spectator article announcing the arrival of thefacebook.com at Columbia
- March 05, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Adam Goldberg's, founder of CUCom, on thefacebook and accusations of shoddy journalism by the Spectator
- March 05, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Rob Spinella, calling for google-bomb war on facebook.com
- March 05, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Cody Hess, answering Rob Spinella's call and declaring war
- March 06, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Cody Hess, relating transcript of interview with the Crimson
- March 07, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Rob Spinella, on the declaration of war, and Crimson interview of his own
- March 09, 2004- "Columbia Rebukes thefacebook.com", Harvard Crimson article on the google-bomb campaign
- March 09, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Cody Hess, responding to Crimson News Article
- March 11, 2004- "Manifest Destiny, Facebook Style", Harvard Crimson editorial belittling any attempt to stop the facebook.
- March 11, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Cody Hess, responding to 2nd Crimson article
- March 11, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Rob Spinella, accusing the Crimson of shoddy journalism
- March 17, 2004- CUCommunity Journal of Rob Spinella, concerning successes and failures of the campaign
- March 22, 2004- CU, Harvard Sites End 'E-War' - Spec announces end of CUCom-Facebook war
- March 24, 2004 - Letters to the Editor - CUCommunity Is Still Fighting Harvard Facebook In Cyberspace, Columbia Spectator - letter by Tao Tan in response to previous article
- April 05, 2004- Columbians Unite!, Columbia Spectator - Op-ed by Tao Tan glorifying the war and swearing to fight on