Controversial RateBU.com lets students vote on hotness of women
Students at Boston University can now log onto RateBU.com, rate their female classmates as being hot or not, and help compile a list of the top hotties on campus. As you would guess, the site has angered numerous students and prompted the student government to take action.
"Unique? Not really. Still fun? Absolutely!" the homepage explains
The Web site was created by Justin Doody, a sophomore in the engineering college who got the idea from watching the movie, "The Social Network," according to The Quad student magazine, which first reported the news.
Unlike Mark Zuckerburg's earlier "FaceMash" -- which pulled photos of women off campus servers -- all of the content on RateBU is submitted by users, which Doody believes makes his site legal.
"I saw an opportunity to do it in a different way," Doody told me. "I think most people understand the site is a big joke and not meant to be taken seriously... It's not meant to be malicious at all."
This week students have been fighting back and discussing what can be done to shut the site down. The student government passed a motion Monday night condemning the "offensive Web site" and encouraging students to not use it, according to The Daily Free Press. And at least one Facebook group has organized to protest the site.
"I think it's completely disgusting and degrading," said Nicole Rojas, a junior journalism major who created the Facebook group. "I don't believe degrading girls should be a form of entertainment."
The number of photos on the Web site grows each evening. The site's main page claims that it has already counted more than 630,000 votes on more than 400 women. Doody said he has more than 4,000 registered users and more than 3,000 of them have voted on the site or submitted photos. A large number of those users are women, he said.
And there are plans to add a section for photos of men and to expand to other schools.
"I have receive an incredible number of requests from girls" asking for men to also be judged on the site, Doody said. "I never meant for the site to be sexist at all."
Updated on Thursday, Dec. 9, to include comments from Doody.
What do you think? Is the site offensive? Is it an invasion of privacy?
| December 7, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
Categories: Networking | Tags: Boston University, Facebook
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