The newest Facebook group to litter my news feed is ‘Durham Rate Your Shag’. You can tell that it is exam season because Facebook is recommending me new groups to join and pages to like daily, as students use the Internet as an expedient distraction from revision.
“Let everyone out there know who’s good in bed and who to avoid”, states the ‘About’ section for this latest page that doesn’t enrich my life. They ask for people who ‘like’ the page to “Rate your shag out of 10, adding comments and gossip (i.e. size, fetish, duration etc.)”
Surely this page is nothing more than a platform for humiliation, allowing people to be cruel whilst remaining conveniently anonymous? Furthermore, as it is a public page, it is not limited to just Durham students. Get ready for the world to read about your sexploits.
Do the creators really expect it to be taken seriously? No doubt the majority of their posts (of which there are currently none) will be exaggerated, embellished and, in all likelihood, complete lies to begin with.
However, there are also probably people lurking on the Internet with enough audacity to submit truthful accounts of their sexual experiences to the student body.
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.
If they didn’t ask you to film the experience, then they probably didn’t want it to become viral online. Imagine not being able to leave the bedroom without saying, “Would you mind not rating me on the Internet?”
Worryingly, it is not just Durham indulging in this abhorrent Internet criticizing. Searching ‘Rate Your Shag’ in the Facebook bar provides a plethora of results. Many of the pages give full names of reported sexual partners, with comments such as “0/10. S*** body and one heavy dose of Chlamydia. Get checked love.”
The administrator of one of these groups posted a comment stating “Just waiting for someone to break up a couple by sending in a fake one…” Clearly meaningful relationships are a joke to the organizers and condoners of this latest pointless page.
Of the three Durham versions of ‘Rate Your Shag’, the most popular has close to 2,000 ‘likes’. This means that the equivalent of one eighth of the student body has decided to endorse the page within the brief eighteen hours that it has been live.
This page 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.
What do you think? Is the new group just light-hearted fun, or is it a serious problem? Let us know your thoughts @PalatiComment.