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YouSpeak: RateBU.com

New website sparks controversy

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Much controversy, on and off campus, has been generated by a new website, created by a BU student, that allows users with a BU e-mail address to upload photos of BU women, whose looks can then be rated by other users. The site, RateBU.com, has been condemned as sexist and demeaning and has raised serious concerns about privacy. It has also garnered attention from national news media.

So, “YouSpeak” asks: “What is your reaction to RateBU.com?”

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On 15 December 2010 at 2:13 PM, Sheri T. (CFA'89) wrote:

This is really distasteful for starters but future consequences of this could be really scary - stalking for examples. Also, a potential employer could do a web search and not only find perhaps more info than one might want that person to know from one's Facebook account but might find something like this - how do they know your "friend" posted this without your knowledge. Surely people have better things to do with their time?

On 15 December 2010 at 2:13 PM, Alfred Brown (SSW'59) wrote:

The concept of a Social Network has become a mess. Initially, a student at Harvard (not Mark Zuckenberg) developed a program for the students to sell their textbooks and to offer their opinions of the faculty. Lawrence Summers forced the student to terminate the program. Had he been a better leader, he would have contracted with the student (Aaron Greenspan) to provide this service. Mark Zuckenberg stole the code and ultimately is to become Time magazine's man-of the-year. The point I am making is to suggest that Boston University should take over or contract with the program operators and make this particular social network meaningful and of course, drop the sexist aspect. BU needs to offer opportunities for students to share opinions and rate faculty and courses rather than rating photos of female students. For further info, Google the name Aaron Greenspan.

On 14 December 2010 at 8:18 PM, Anonymous (SMG'82) wrote:

This is is an obvious affront to our intelligence and a clear abuse of what should be positive student and computer potential!! This sounds like a case for peer justice review: does BU have such a group?

On 14 December 2010 at 8:18 PM, Anonymous (SMG'82) wrote:

It's sad that something this demeaning and insulting to women is offered up as something cool, fun and original. Clearly these students are poorly educated - haven't they heard of the women's movement? Did none of that happen? Don't they have parents who teach them about what it was like for women before the struggle? Neither was this original, as the idea came right out of the Social Network movie, itself a portrayal of pathetic self-centered money-grubbing power-hungry misogynistic young men. We've stepped back in time some 50 yrs...

On 14 December 2010 at 3:22 PM, Barbara A Lee (CFA'59) wrote:

I am deeply saddened that something like this can occur at Boston University. The values reflected in the conduct of the people who put up this website are not those I have always associated with the university.

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