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Facebook removes ‘Rate Your Shag’ university pages

Posted on Wednesday, 29 May by

Rate Your Shag York

After causing outrage amongst both students and the mainstream media, Facebook has removed several of the “Rate Your Shag” pages, which ask students to name and shame their sexual partners.

There have been reports that Facebook could be the subject of legal action for comments published on the pages, which have been liked by over 20,000 students in the last three days. The first “Rate Your Shag” page appeared at Newcastle University but they quickly spread nationwide, with a page for students at Sussex amongst those that have been removed.

Rate Your Shag

The online community sees students post details about their sexual partners, rating them out of ten and adding further comments relating to their conquest’s bedroom performance. While some students claim this is all done in good spirit, there are those who are unaware their names are being published online alongside potentially damaging remarks.

While Facebook protects the rights of those who post on their site, those being spoken about have no such privilege and this is where lawyers believe the social network could come unstuck. Privacy specialist Isabel Martorell has said: “The courts have made clear that information about a person’s sex life is very much private, that’s also the case even if what’s being posted about the information is untrue.”

Rate Your Shag Tweet 1

Rate Your Shag Tweet 2

Liam Burns, President of the National Union of Students, has urged those universities targeted to take action: “Imagine that was your family member, partner or friend. It’s not funny. It’s tantamount to bullying. I would be surprised if institutions didn’t intervene, if student unions didn’t intervene, but we’re talking about adults here.”

Loughborough University has been quick off the mark in that respect, saying: “We have been made aware of a Facebook page that contains personal and offensive comments about people at the University. Any student who posts inappropriate comments or material is contravening the University’s policies on acceptable use of IT and harassment and bullying.”

Rate Your Shag Tweet 3

Rate Your Shag Tweet 4

Facebook has confirmed that the pages breach the company’s terms and have taken the decision to remove the pages overnight: “We do not tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behaviour directed at private individuals.”

Censorship, like those spoken of on ‘Rate Your Shag’, couldn’t come quick enough.

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Corey Pellatt
22-year-old editor of SQ Magazine and Media Studies student at the University of Sussex. Freelance writer for clients including BHAFC.

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