On Monday May 27, a new Facebook group called ‘Loughborough Rate Your Shag’ was created, with the intention to get Loughborough students naming and rating others in terms of their sexual activities.
Below we have an article written by Marlies Neuner, a student who on seeing the group, commented on its invasion of privacy and stated she had reported the group. The response to her comment was varied, some agreeing with Marlies but many other students attacking her post.
The messages on the ‘Loughborough Rate Your Shag’ page are posted anonymously, however the person that it concerns is named. Some of these messages are positive, whereas some make fun of people’s sexual preferences, practices and characteristics. It is clear that a lot of these entries are fake and submitted by friends of the person they concern as a joke. However, seeing as the person is named and often tagged, the consequences of these posts can be harmful, if a younger sibling or parent was to see the post for example.
Students from other universities, such as York and Warwick quickly set up their own pages, imitating the Loughborough page. Lots of people complained about the vile nature of the page at York, referring to the fact that sexual practices are a private matter and people should not be named and shamed. There is also the fact that what is said on social media sites can be used in court, as seen by the case of Sally Bercow’s tweets about politician Alistair McAlpine. Subsequently, the York version of the page got taken down. The admins of the Warwick group quickly disabled comments so that nobody could complain on their page.