Dozens of University of Manchester students have had their Facebook profile pictures uploaded, without their consent, to the controversial new site Ratemash.
The website, which uses Facebook to get students from 138 UK universities to rank each others pictures based on “hotness”, has taken 150,000 images from the social networking site. It promises “modelling contracts, access to top nightclubs, party invitations, free alcohol, spa vouchers and cash if you are in the top 50”.
It also claims to “sort out your nightlife”, by “giving you access to the coolest clubs and parties in town”.
Following an expose by The Huffington Post, there has been an outpouring of criticism from students across the country, and Facebook have confirmed that the site is now under investigation. .
The National Union of Students has described the website as an “appalling invasion of students’ privacy”.
Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President for Welfare, said, “it is concerning to hear that students appear to be featured on this website unknowingly or without their consent. 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”.
Andy Shortland, studying Accounting, has found himself uploaded to the “top 50 hottest guys of all time at the University of Manchester”.
He told The Mancunion, “I was pretty shocked about it to be honest”.
Shortland had heard about the site following the expose by The Huffington Post, and on discovering that ratemash.com had used his profile without asking, he “didn’t really know what to think. It’s very very odd”
He now wants his profile to be taken down, but said “every time I’ve tried their website, the server has crashed. I’ve signed up and there’s no way to delete.
“It’s just not really very cool at all”.