FitFinder or JerkFinder?

It popped up in conversation the other day. I was enjoying a coffee with some classmates and one of them mentioned UCLFitfinder a website that allows students to post tweet-like messages about fitties they’ve spotted in the library etc. It is supposed to be a cross between twitter and the spotted columns in the free newspapers – a way for students to meet each other when they are too shy to tell them personally. However, I smelled a rat and sure enough, what I found is demeaning, vile and quite frankly, insulting. One quick scan of the ‘FitFeed’ and you will find messages such as:
“Main Library (Floor 1 – Law) Female, Blonde hair. Sitting near the back, wearing a black leather jacket and grey shorts. I hope you’re not wearing anything under that jacket”
“Science Library (Floor 1 – Biology) Female, Brunette hair. Girl with big boobs keeps walking in and out. I don’t mean to keep staring but they look marvellous.”
“Science Library (Floor 0 – Computer Area (Downstairs)) Female, Brunette hair. white shirt, jeans. red nail polish. Possibly middle eastern. I would like to rip your white shirt and see you naked.”
 ‘How is this even allowed at a university’? Nobody really wants to be talked about behind their back let alone have it cast onto the Internet for everyone in the room/library/university to read. I don’t want to be perved at as I attempt to pass my Masters degree in what is supposed to be the 4th Best University in the World! My peers at this university are supposed to among the most intelligent people on the planet and yet there a group of students who think this degrading behaviour is funny and acceptable. I also find this website an embarrassment to the reputation of UCL – how can we call ourselves world leaders in academia when we are represented as idiotic douche-bags? How about they leave that behaviour in the locker-rooms?
It is like the online equivalent of the builder’s wolf-whistle, but 10 times worse. Yes, it is flattering to be considered attractive to another person, but who wants to be perved on and objectified by a salivating imbecile? This website goes too far – I find it insulting, detrimental and plain idiotic. It is a completely inappropriate service which encourages the alienation of fellow students. Am I the only one who thinks this way?
  1. Well said. This sort of rubbish has no place in what is supposed to be one of the world's finest academic environments.

  2. Yes i would find this extremely insulting. i am really really surprised that it is allowed! Surely it breaks all sorts of equality rules?

    What a horrible environment for students and staff.What is the union doing about it?

  3. Oh no, this is awful! I'm half-amused, half-insulted…and half-horrified (yep, apparently I have three halves…). And, as much as anything else, it makes for incredibly boring reading…and I'm assuming there are people who actually spend their days feverishly scanning the pages of this site hoping to get a mention. Yikes.

  4. Hannah – I have not been in touch with the union here. But they do not seem to be much of an activist union really – I have not seen any campaigns this year.

    Jane – you are absolutely right, I have more interesting things to waste my time on then checking to see who is letching over who.

  5. I can see the funny side of it but I agree the downside. I don't want to associate my uni or at least my library with perving up and writing sexual innuendos. Students of UCL are better than this. Also, this gives an impression that we are not serious. There was an article on the Guardian and now there are similar sites for other Uni's!

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