‘Ratemash’ website comes under fire

first_imgMansfield student Ariane Moshiri, another member of the ‘top 50’ group, commented, “It’s creepy, but that is to say the very least. I think what it most appalling about this website is that it’s vaguely trying to legitimise rating both men and women by supposedly giving you ‘access to the coolest clubs and parties in town’, without really even giving you a choice.“The site is misogynistic, even if it rates men as well. However the big thing is that it just shows you the extent to which there is a lack of privacy on the internet.” OUSU President-Elect Louis Trupp also featured on the site, and expressed his undeniable outrage. He said, “I really dislike ‘Ratemash’. I don’t want to be on it.”Other students, however, took a slightly less serious view. Chris Starkey from Catz told Cherwell, “On a personal level, I’m quite flattered to be on the leaderboard, and if people are so inclined they can feel free to send more points my way! I won’t be using the site anytime soon though.” Oriel student Jessica Collins said, “I don’t think it’s fair to accuse the site of misogyny, given that it includes both guys and girls. Perhaps it could be criticised for generally perpetuating judging people on their appearances etc. but it is hardly the worst example of this sort of thing. Generally I think the site is just a bit of harmless fun.”Ratemash has also been criticised at the national level. In a statement, Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President for Welfare, said, “It is concerning to hear that students appear to be featured on this website unknowingly or without their consent. If this is true it would be a gross invasion of privacy. Those who have been featured without being asked should immediately contact the website owners and ask to be removed.”Facebook is undergoing investigations into Ratemash, started up earlier this year by nineteen year old Michael Healy, who has compared the site to Tinder for universities, claiming that, “It’s a lot more interesting because of the leaderboard.” New website Ratemash has been uploading students’ photos and links to their Facebook accounts without their knowledge to feature on an online ‘hot or not’ leader board.The website, which features students at universities across the UK, states that it aims to, “make it easier to meet new people in universities and to make going out cheaper, more fun and seamless”. However, it now faces allegations of violation of privacy for featuring unwitting students on its ‘ratings’ board. The site consists of leaderboards for each university, featuring a profile picture and link to individuals’ Facebook accounts under the headline ‘Hottest Girls/Guys of All Time at University of Oxford’.Balliol student Sophie Spector, who drew attention to the website on the ‘Misogyny Overheard at Oxford’ Facebook group after she found her picture featured, commented, “I personally think it is out of order. Its not just a disgusting website in and of itself, its out of line including myself and others who didn’t sign up for it and hands out our personal information without our permission. My reaction was confusion, a sort of morbid flattery if I am going to keep it real, which was short lived when I found out the picture on the website didn’t even show my face. It feels creepy, seedy and dangerous.” Lucy Delaney, WomCam chair and OUSU Women’s Campaign Officer elect, seemed equally perturbed by the experience. She said, “The Oxford Feminist Network have fought hard to tackle and certainly I am irritated that I actually feature on this site. Oxford is a place where people should be treated for their intellect and the skills they have to bring to the community, not their looks.” This view was echoed by others who discovered their pictures displayed on the site. Tom Calver, a second year at Jesus, said, “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I feel objectified, but would certainly say I’m a bit weirded out by it. The whole thing on the website about it being a ‘buzzing community with members within universities’ and its idea being to ‘make it easier to meet new people in universities and to make going out cheaper, more fun and seamless’ seems like a pretty transparent front for something a bit more sinister.” last_img read more