‘Rate Your Shag’ Facebook Pages All the Rage at UK Universities

The College Confessions craze has reached new levels of candor and sheer lunacy. As individuals who have been anywhere near academia the past few semesters are aware, students are increasingly anonymously sharing their anxieties, flaws, private thoughts, and real and fantasy crushes on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds sporting rabid (if short-lived) fan-bases.

The latest iteration is set so far in England.  Apparently, students at a rash of UK universities have set up “Rate Your Shag” Facebook pages in recent days.  Their aim: engaging fellow students to share stories of past sexual conquests and offer numerical scores based on how well they feel they went.  The kicker: In some cases, students name their real/alleged sexual partners, even those they give poor scores. The principal instructions for the sordid affair: ”Name them, shame them, and if you must, praise them.

A sample entry: “Poor effort. you obv think you’re doing a great job.  Shouting ‘I’M SO GOOD AT THIS’ never helps.  I did enjoy the location though.  Better luck next time 2/10.”

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The pages have acquired massive followings in a very short time.  For example, 8,000 devotees recently flocked to a Newcastle University “Rate Your Shag” Facebook page. University administrators and online authorities have also quickly pounced on the pages, shutting them down in most cases and also threatening legal action.

A British legal eagle: “The courts have made clear that information about a person’s sex life is very much private.  That’s also the case even if whats being posted . . . is untrue.  They would still be able to bring a complaint.”

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Cressida Peever, a student at Durham University, is not a fan of the phenomenon.  As she writes in The Palatinate, Durham’s student newspaper, “Just as sex should be consensual for both parties, so should the sharing of information regarding it.  It is one thing to share a cheeky detail with friends.  It is another thing entirely to belittle or berate a previous (let alone current) sexual partner on the Internet. . . . This page [for Durham students] is not funny.  At best, it will be a source of shallow amusement for friends to chide each other.  At worst, it is offensive, hurtful and embarrassing that members of our university can follow such a disgusting trend.”

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