‘Rate Your Shag’ pages deleted by Facebook and condemned by the University

31st May 2013

The notorious Rate Your Shag pages that spread over Facebook on Monday 27th May were publicly condemned by the University who threatened disciplinary action for anyone posting defamatory posts. All Rate Your Shag pages were then subsequently deleted by web superpower Facebook.

What is it about these pages that caused the university to step in and take action?

You can listen back to our Monday show where our Pulse team discussed the naming and shaming phenomenon as it hit our news feeds:

http://urn1350.net/blog/pulse/2013/05/rate-your-shag-do-you-rate-it-or-slate-it

They got in touch with the admin of the Nottingham site who remained anonymous but said that:

The only real criticism I have received is from people who find the whole concept offensive but saying that there is an option to hide this page from their feeds.

Well, it seems that people won’t have to hide the page from their newsfeeds anymore as not only did the university threaten any student posting on it with disciplinary action, but Facebook deleted it.

We spoke to Harry Waddle, the Students Communications Officer, to see why the university took the stance it did:

Well to add to this, Facebook itself, stepped into the controversy and deleted all of the Rate Your Shag pages. People angry about its apparent tolerance of misogynistic hate speech on the site complained and so Facebook was been forced to face facts – offensive content posted on its platform will be seen by many as its responsibility and could harm its business.

Formerly, Facebook has run on a self-policing community where users can report any offenders who contravene the code of conduct. But the social network has now admitted that this system isn’t working. They’ve said:

In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.

Do you think gender-based hate occurs frequently on social media? Do you think that Facebook made the right decision in banning the pages or do you think this will set a precedent and could breach its user’s freedom of speech?

Let us know what you think by commenting below.