Since their birth, social networks have been seen as beneficial for communication and keeping in touch with others. Through much development of the Internet and technology, there have been many different kinds of social networks created, but some are not created for the greater good.
This week, both Rider administration and students have all been buzzing about a new website called raterider.com. It is a website created to compare pictures of female Rider students to one another two at a time. Based on a point system, students can go on and vote for which one they find more attractive. The unauthorized site, though not new to the social networking realm, is the first of its nature to appear with the connection to Rider and has caused quite a stir among students, faculty and administration.
Raterider.com was created on Oct. 18, but it wasn’t discovered by administration until Oct. 22. When it first appeared on the scene, many people were not sure if the pictures were really of Rider students, but they soon started spotting the familiar face of a classmate or friend. What may have started out as a laughing matter has ended up something that has offended and disgusted many people on campus.
The students who made the site put their knowledge of computers and code-typing skills to use and retrieved solo pictures of female students through Facebook profile pictures. While many thought this act was an invasive one, the creator would have only been able to get his or her hands on a picture if that girl’s Facebook page was public and if she was a part of the Rider network. We need to keep in mind always that whatever we put on the Internet is public and is, therefore, fair game for use.
The website has undergone some changes since first appearing on the web. On its first version the website contained the Rider logo at the top, which was quickly taken off by its creator within the day because it was falsely representing itself as an official Rider website. Another addition was an option you can click to ask to have your picture removed, which is better than previously having no choice at all.
The day after the Rider faculty was made aware of raterider.com, President Mordechai Rozanski sent out an email to the student body letting everyone know the faculty and administration are conscious of the website and are investigating it.
According to Rozanski’s email, the website’s authors went against Rider’s Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy and the Student Code of Conduct section 2.7 and will be punished accordingly.
Rozanski and Dean of Students Anthony Campbell worked with the legal counsel and the Office of Information Technology to block access to the site for students from all Rider servers. Since raterider.com serves no academic purpose and has done more harm than good for some students, it is fair to rid it from the campus server. That same night, two students, who will remain nameless by the university through Federal law, came clean about making the site and said they would take it down.
Websites such as this are unfortunately nothing new among the Internet. They exist at other institutions and according to biography.com, was even the start of Facebook when Mark Zuckerberg studied at Harvard. This connection may have served as inspiration for the people who decided to take social networking into their own hands. But contrary to Zuckerberg’s initial creation, Facemash, raterider.com was deemed inappropriate and degrading for the university server.
“There is no place on either campus or anywhere else for the acts of repugnant behavior exhibited by the website and we will not tolerate actions that are antithetical to our core values,” Rozanski wrote.
Since the investigation of who made the controversial raterider.com is over, those who had been included on the page can rest easier knowing it can no longer be seen anywhere and is not tolerated on campus.
The weekly editorial expresses the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by
the Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.