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Ratemash: “Creepy” site is taking students’ photos and ranking their hotness

Posted on Tuesday, 26 November by

Ratemash

Ratemash, a site that has been quietly uploading photos of students for its users to rank has been branded as “creepy” and “a stalker’s dream” by a number of sabbatical officers at student unions across the country.

According to reports, over 150,000 Facebook profiles have been catalogued on the website without consent, prompting visitors to the site to rate each profile ‘hot or not’ and ranking the 50 highest rated at each university.

Sam Butler, president of Liverpool University’s student guild said: “We’ve recently become aware that the website ratemash.com is providing a function where students’ photos are taken from their Facebook without their permission and then ranked by other students according to their appearance.”

John Gusman, VP for education at Bournemouth University’s SU, told Huff Post:

This is appalling. It is an incredible invasion of privacy. I can even see students I know on there. It is unacceptable.”

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Students are ranked by university with leaderboards of the “hottest 50″

Officers from University College London, Kings College, Wolverhampton and Sussex, have all publicly spoken out against the site or encouraged students to ask Ratemash to remove their profiles.

“It is concerning to hear that students appear to be featured on this website unknowingly or without their consent,” said Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President for Welfare. “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.”

When signing up for the site a user is presented with this message, exactly what details the site then chooses to take from your profile isn’t very clear, and most people’s profiles are on the site already unbeknownst to many.

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Speaking to The Tab: the site’s owner, 19-year-old Michael Healy said: “I made it for a university [Regent’s University] that my roommates were going to and it got like 50,000 ratings overnight so I thought I’d scale it to other university. It’s just a bit of fun.

“I see it as Tinder for universities – it’s a lot more interesting because of the leaderboard.”

Healy went on to say he had received “fewer than 100″ complaints, but refused to comment when asked whether he thought the site was creepy or an invasion of privacy.

People get invited by their friends but they are welcome to remove themselves at any time.”

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Ratemash.com founder Michael Healy (left)

The site was founded with £30,000 investment through his company Resuno, which creates websites for businesses with Ratemash currently employing six people. According to its website “Ratemash is buzzing community with members within universities mostly in the UK and around the world who like to go out, party and enjoy themselves.

The idea of Ratemash is to make it easier to meet new people in universities and to make going out cheaper, more fun and seamless.”

Stay tuned with SQ Magazine for more updates on this story.

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Lewis Scrafton
22. Co-founder and editor of SQ Magazine. Studying at University of Sussex. Interned at MATTER and published in The Guardian.


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