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Yale students made a better version of their course catalogue. Then Yale shut it down.

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But their conversations with the administration and the content of the sites led them to believe the sticking point was the way they displayed course evaluations, which was different from Yale Bluebook because it averaged the ratings and made them easily comparable. "The registrar said that originally when Yale faculty agreed to put that information online, they didn't want it to be displayed that prominently," said Yu.

The brothers don't find that a very compelling reason to limit the way the information could be displayed. "First, we don't think that helps professors that much,"said Xu, saying that the ratings for most classes were positive. "And second, we think it hurts students by limiting their ability to understand information about the classes they want to take."

But the administration appears to disagree: A response sent by the Yale IT department to students who filed tickets about the blocking of the site specifically cited the its use of ratings as among the reasons the site was blocked, saying "the design of the site focused on a few ratings never intended to be used for this purpose." It added, "Yale takes advising and course selection seriously and has given students digital resources to help them design their schedules, such as syllabi, course descriptions, and thoughtful narrative responses written by students."

Yale declined Washington Post interview requests for this story, but did share a short statement about the situation from Yale College Dean Mary Miller. The statement did not directly address their blocking of the website or the threat of disciplinary action, or the site's use of course ratings.

If Facebook had started at Yale it would have been shut down before reaching a second college.

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