“Spotted”


I must admit, reading about “Spotted” in the news once again came as no surprise to me. Sadly, it seems everyday a new wave of internet indecency or nastiness becomes part of the norm.

And, make no mistake, the materials posted upon “Spotted” are particularly grotesque. But, I still have to question; aren’t such materials in many ways merely an expression of freedom, and of being human?

In truth, it is completely normal and part of everyday life – men and women will look at, talk about, fantasise about and trade lewd comments/pictures of the opposite sex. They don’t need the internet for this either.

So, I have to ask – how far is too far on the internet?

And, has “Spotted” reached, breached and exceeded the limits?

For those of you who don’t know what ‘Spotted’ is, allow me to provide you with some shockingly foul-mouthed quotes which illustrates it clearly (warning – profanities follow);

That blonde haired girl who just walked into the 2nd floor of the library is fucking banging – ‘Spotted: Reading University Library’ (3718 likes).

To the dirty skank… for gods sake buy some new leggings!! jesus christ! i can see your minge! [sic] – ‘Spotted: Swansea University Campus’ (2407 likes).

To the girl talking about harry potter. i think your arse might be a horcrux, im gonna have to destroy it tonight – ‘Spotted: Kent Uni Library’ (4209 likes).

These comments are typical examples of what “Spotted” has to offer. Male university students and their velvet tongues, produce one disgusting comment after another, and it is shrugged off as a type of compliment that their female peers should enjoy receiving.

“Spotted” pages are in fact part of the Facebook family. They are pages that encourage students to write comments and messages about their peers, which are published anonymously by page administrators. Many of the pages target specific universities (each page supposedly run by a student at that institution), with hundreds of different pages appearing on Facebook. Many of the pages have been liked thousands of times.

The “about” sections of most of the pages innocent enough, they encourage students to share funny incidents, grievances or secret crushes, but the reality is very different. Many of the pages consist of heavily sexualised and offensive comments about students’ appearance and sexuality, and female students are targeted with particularly misogynistic comments.

To the stuck up slut who looked at me as if I’d just slipped a finger up her grandma… –‘Spotted: University of Portsmouth Library’ (7460 likes).

Some posts include images, seemingly uploaded without the subjects’ knowledge or consent.

A current post on the ‘Spotted: University of Essex’ page (3955 likes) shows a young woman sitting at a computer, apparently unaware of the fact that her underwear is exposed above the waistband of her trousers, or of the fact that she is being photographed from behind. The caption on the photograph reads: “Nice bit a crack in the reading room.” [sic]

Another picture featuring a female student, again taken from behind and apparently without consent, appears on the “Spotted: Coventry University” page (4097 likes), captioned: “Asian girls and their asses though.” Several of the posts nastily blend racism with sexism.

A post appearing on the ‘Spotted: Hotty in Hartley Library’ page (3493 likes), displays a picture of a female student from behind, and asks fellow students to identify her so the poster “can get on that”.

Many posts inform female students what their male peers would like to do to them, or are doing while watching them:

To the girl on the c+ floor with the red toshiba laptop… i was sitting next to you a few hours ago. I literally couldn’t take my hand out of my pants the whole time. [sic]

To the hot girl sitting opposite me on level 3, do you mind if I have a cheeky danger wank whilst looking at you?

To the sexy brunette on the 4th floor, will you be my girlfrien? I didn’t add the D because you’ll get that later.

 Others veer from sexual objectification towards bullying:

 To the girl in the floor 4 toilets, you’re not Niagara falls, at some point you’ve gotta stop flowing.

The fat bird standing by the printers on the first floor. Don’t want to shag, but could really do with a cuddle.

Is it all in good fun??

A National Union of Students study reveals that 68% of female students experience sexual harassment during their time at university, and one in seven are seriously physically or sexually assaulted. These statistics actually shocked me; I didn’t know this was the case, and I doubt many female students (current or future) would know either.

So, how harmless are such pages if they feed into a wider student culture which increasingly treats young women as sexual prey?

And, do such pages merely demonstrate, and ensure that sexual harassment infiltrates every part of the academic arena to the point that there are no limits?

I then wonder;

Does “Spotted” encapsulate a new culture of objectification, harassment and misogyny?

How can this freedom of speech be curtailed, or, should it be?

Is “Spotted” just boys being boys or is it more sinister than that?

If you or your daughter were on the receiving end of such grotesque comments, how would you react?

All I can say;

I am thankful “Spotted” didn’t exist when I was a student. It was daunting enough entering the new environment of a large university, leaving home, being frightened, unsure and anxious over everything. I certainly wouldn’t have appreciated contending with this form of bullying and harassment too.

“Spotted” is childish, dangerous, aggressive, soul destroying and cowardly; not the best way to demonstrate what a UK university education can teach you.

Perhaps, a little less lady spotting and a little more studying wouldn’t go amiss.    

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Freedom Of Speech?


Everyone has got something to say about how free their speech should be.

However, peoples beliefs, ideas and notions about freedom of speech seem to be in conflict with what it actually is.

Well, what exactly is freedom of speech?

To clarify the mystery let us look at the Wikipedia definition, just so we know we are all on the same page, so to speak:

“Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.

Interesting. Interesting also to note I have emboldened certain parts of this text, to comment on obviously, as on the this humble piece of the blog-stratosphere, I have the freedom to speak my own opinions.

The first point to consider states that we have the right to; “Communicate one’s opinions and ideas….to anyone who is willing to receive them”. To me, this statement does not mean forcing your opinions or ideas upon those people, who frankly couldn’t care a less. As we all know, we all have our own ideas and opinions, and of course as is human nature, and the difference of being different, they all differ from time to time. What a shock!

Why then do some people think they have a right, or a duty, above and beyond us mere mortals, to shout their ideas and opinions loudest of all? Why do some people wish to drown everyone else out, and force others to shut up and concede to them? Where is the freedom of speech in that ethos? What makes one person, or people, think their ideas and opinions are superior, and are worth listening to more than anyone else’s? “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference”, that is what the definition states loud and clear. Perhaps then these people who wish to subdue everyone else, really ought to educate themselves on the premise of freedom of speech, before they speak!

In other words; if you have something to say then make it worthwhile, otherwise, please just shut up and leave other people alone! We’re not listening if we don’t want to, as per our right, according to freedom of speech!

“The right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations”. People often disagree with this, but then of course these people also don’t wish to hear or be informed about other people’s ideas and opinions either. Some people only really want to hear what they want to, and would indeed censor anyone who conflicted with their own ideas and opinions. So, once again, where is the freedom in that??

I would like to know, what is absolute freedom anyway?? Also, why do some people think that their freedom is more important than anyone else’s? Could it be that people claim there ought to absolute freedom when they themselves are censored, because they have something horrible, threatening, bullying and insidious to shout about? Maybe.

This leads me directly to what is censored, and why of course; “the exercise of these rights carries….. special duties and responsibilities………and may…..therefore be subject to certain restrictions……. when necessary……[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others….or…..[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”. Does this clause, that can limit the freedom of anyone’s speech seem reasonable??? For me, no.

Before people accuse me of having petty despot fantasies, hear me out; this is my freedom of speech after all!!

Consider what damage words can do to a person, their life, their reputation, their happiness and security. Many of us may indeed recall a school-yard bully, who didn’t resort to violence to inflict pain and rule with terror, but only words. The sort of words that are better off never being spoken. The type which are threatening, nasty, damaging and damn right insidious.

Extrapolate this example then into the wider-world, and imagine what damage words, uncontrolled and misdirected can do. The answer is, plenty of damage.

Shouldn’t we all then have a responsibility to edit our words? Consider the content, quality, quantity and intent before we fire the loaded weapon, and expect everyone to just sit back and be OK with it all? If we aren’t willing to allow other people’s words to just fly past our ears without response, then why should other people afford us such courtesy?

I think the moral of this tale is; choose your words carefully, and always, always, expect a response!

If You Tolerate This………..


And THIS is a product of a healthy society?? Yeah, right!

And THIS is a product of a healthy society?? Yeah, right!

……….Where-in the HELL will it end??????!!!!!!!!

The issue of these disgusting Facebook pages makes me sick to my stomach. Where is the debate here at all?? It is simple for me; REMOVE ALL THE ABUSIVE AND SICK PAGES, and REMOVE THEM NOW!!!!

Rape, abuse and God knows what else – what part does any of that play in social networking? I mean what a conversation starter between long lost friends; “Hey great to speak to you again Steve, yeah, I’m an Engineer now, I drive a BMW and oh, yeah, did I mention I’m a wife beater and rapist – soon to be a Daddy too”. SICK, SICK, SICK; and another word, debauched.

What a twisted world we live in, and what low life scum inhabit it. Times like these make me ashamed to call myself a human being.

The men responsible for such things are surely on some ‘Most Wanted Psycho Killer’ list somewhere or another, if not, they will be.

There is nothing amusing about this sick content, and nothing which should be classed as anyone’s right to express. This is not liberating and progressive, but harmful and debase. In a civil society there is no room for such cruel, moronic and misogynist attitudes.

Ban abusive Facebook pages NOW!!!!! Stop quibbling over T&C’s and everything else; what is more important here, people and their lives or bloody paperless contracts for internet jibber jabber.

Facebook PLEASE get your priorities right once and for all!

The Daily Prompt – Polite Company


“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.”

Agree or disagree?

politics-religion

‘David Cameron, ummmm, who is he again?’

‘Barack Obama, the name is familiar; isn’t he an actor or something?’

‘Have you seen last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser?’

Reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid of talking politics or religion to people we don’t necessarily know, well, just look at the above statements if you need convincing.

What is wrong with talking politics or religion? Isn’t that what people have always done for centuries? Isn’t that how the world has changed, and things have progressed; by developing ourselves through knowledge, and taking an interest in what is going on around us? Aren’t politics and religion what has bound societies together in the first place?

Why not talk about either topic; they are after all parts and parcel of our everyday lives. We can’t stay immune from the tendrils of religion or politics invading upon our lives at some point, and in some form.

Why can’t we remain immune? Well, because religion and politics remain the two great fundamental pillars in our societies; where most topics and situations spring from. Both topics have spurred on and driven; rights, laws, culture, history, art, sociology, poetry, philosophy and so on and so on.

Then how can we avoid someone talking to us about these great fundamentals? We can’t, simple!

If it is a prerequisite to be firm friends or family before we can talk religion or politics, what other topics are off limits too? Maybe we should confine our ‘polite’ conversation merely to comments regarding the weather. NO, PLEASE, NO!!!!!

I know that religion and politics revolve around opinions, and these can bore people (poor things); but do we embargo other topics too as they rely on opinions also?! NO, we don’t!

I have had plenty of random people talk away to me about whatever was on their minds at the time, and no, they didn’t know me! Yet, that sporadic, general splurge of conversation and opinion sharing amongst one another is part of our natures, and it brings us together. I think someone talking to me about politics or religion, whether they are friends, acquaintances or even a stranger, is wonderful and it shouldn’t be denied!

It shows enthusiasm for something more profound than the usual consumerism, image obsession, inane television programmes, getting drunk and having sex with strangers.

If it was a choice between talking to someone or anyone about inane television programmes or politics and religion, I know which I’d choose!

I maybe dismissed as an ‘armchair’ politician or religious zealot (which I am not by the way), but then there are worst things in the world to be categorised as. I’d prefer that, then not knowing anything about the world I live in. I prefer to have the interest and knowledge rather than to be ignorant.

Why can’t we just feel free enough to speak our words to anyone, and anywhere?

There is after all freedom of speech; so say what you want, to who you want and when you want to. Don’t apologise for it!

I for one am tolerant of random political or religious chit chat, so PLEASE continue!

***Above image came from –  http://prairiefirenews.com***

I’ll Be Offended If I Want To Be!!!!!!!


You know what annoys me? Hearing egotistical people complain about people complaining! These people are under the illusion that they can say what THEY WANT to, but they cannot abide it or understand it when other people might take offence to what it is they have to say.

We ALL have the right to be offended. If people have the right to say something, we then have the right to be offended. If people don’t like that, well, then don’t say anything in the first place! Simple, not really rocket science 🙂

Being offended is natural and being able to say so is a right.

So, I AM OFFENDED! I am entitled to be!!!

If you don’t like it, think before you speak!

Sling Your Hook UN


Could this be the Internet of the future?

What typifies freedom of speech? The internet maybe, perhaps so but all that could change under proposals to reform the Information and Communications Treaty of 1998 by the UN.

Gary Shapiro, president of the US’s Consumer Electronics Association, told the BBC;
“Many countries are used to getting revenue from telephone calls, and those telephone calls have gone away in favour of various internet-based video services which don’t produce revenue for them.”

“So they are looking to recover it and they are trying to put a charge on incoming internet access. So if you have a website which is very popular worldwide you would have to pay to get access to them – we think that is wrong”.

“We think the value of the internet is that it is available to everyone for free without international barriers.”

Google agree and are imploring people to sign their petition against such possible moves. After all who would benefit from curtailing any avenue of free speech, well, the very Governments who profess to adhere to such policies of course. These Governments are the ones who will decide the fate of the free and open internet, not you the user.

In fact any agreed new powers could authorise any Government to cut internet access, block sites and content; in effect censoring what their people can publish on-line and access.

Are you ready to say goodbye to your favourite sites? Maybe including this one?

Below is the link to Google’s on-line petition:

Take Action Google’s Petition