[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. Sometimes with mean words. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like whether the first date is dead!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]
There has been a lot of controversy lately over sites like RateBU, where pictures of girls are posted online and people vote on whether or not they’re hot. Yeah, I only wish I’d made that up. Regardless of whether you think this kind of thing is just fine or is a pathetic excuse for shallow douchbaggery, the question that a lot of schools are facing is – should this be allowed to happen? The question’s on the table ladies, let’s get to it!
Side A – We’re not talking about consensual sites here, where people post pics of themselves for others to judge. What we’re talking about is random people finding photos of others and posting them for the world to rate. Is it just me, or hasn’t cyber-bullying been one of the big hot button issues of the last few years… and isn’t this pretty much exactly the same thing? Whether the girls get rated well or not, it’s still submitting them for judgment and potential ridicule without their knowledge or acceptance. And particularly when these websites are affiliated or related to colleges, shouldn’t they be required to shut down this kind of content and punish the offenders the same way they would if someone, say, put up derogatory posters about someone else all over campus?
Side B – No question that there’s a strong argument to be made that these sites are wrong, but ‘illegal’ or ‘against the rules’ is a very different thing. The right to privacy issue has been brought up, but everyone worth their weight in Facebook knows that if you put pics of yourself out online where people can get to them (without copyright, of course) then they can be used in whatever manner the user sees fit. If you really want to make sure no one uses them, then don’t put them out there! And let’s be realistic here, whatever’s going on on these sites isn’t anything that’s not already happening in whispers behind people’s backs; the only difference is that now there’s a record of it, a public forum. I’m not saying bullying is OK, but I am saying that as adults now, we have to accept the fact that it exists – not everyone is going to like you or be kind and say nice things about you; you just have to suck it up and deal and realize that what those jerks think doesn’t matter.
Ok, girlies, what do you say? Should the sites be taken down? (I mean, if these types of sites didn’t exist, would Facebook??) Are they an invasion of privacy? Should schools protect their students from this kind of thing? Or is all of this just a fact of life? Is it really our place to try and regulate people’s opinions? Should schools be able to tell us what we can and can’t do online and make us play nice?
So many questions, so little time.
Duke it out!