University attempt to silence student ‘confessions’

Louise Wilson

The University was recently made aware of the “Glasgow University Confessions” page that has appeared on Facebook and have taken steps to remove it.

The Facebook page, which was brought to University officials attentions at the SRC meeting on October 25th, has reached nearly 3,000 likes since it joined Facebook on October 10th. It boasts the most “embarrassing”, “disgusting” and “hilarious” stories on campus from our very own students. All Confessions are posted anonymously.

The University have attempted to shut down the page on the grounds that it is using the official University logo as its profile picture. However, attempts made so far to shut the page down have failed and it is still used frequently.

The creation of the page follows the trend started by other universities UK-wide, similar to the “GU Memes” page created in February earlier this year. Other ‘confessions’ pages have also met the disapproval of their prospective universities, with some universities in Wales even taking legal action against contributors to the pages.

The Glasgow University Confessions page has been subject to criticism by the University. A spokesperson said: “The University has asked Facebook to remove the page as it breaches several of Facebook’s own terms and conditions regarding the nature of the content and the unauthorised use of the University logo. We are currently awaiting a response.”

The following post was created on the page on November 27th, over a month after the SRC meeting in which officials were made aware:

“One Night I was in the QMU for cheesy pop. I’d predrank a whole bottle of wine and did a good few shots. I was completely hammered. We met some nice German exchange students but I ruined any possibility of a relationship as I was screaming ‘I guess that cunt gettin eaten’ to Azelia Banks’ 212 while jumping up and down and doing her fantastic dance. They left early… Then I sat down between 2 couples getting eating each others faces off and stopped both pairs ‘for a wee chat’. Not pleased, they ignored me and continued. I proceeded to pass out on the seats between them when a concerned bouncer came over to help me. He crouched down in front of me and made me drink water. Instead of doing so I just kept screaming ‘can I suck you off?’ over and over and over. He just said ‘I don’t think my girlfriend would be too happy about that.’ I was then escorted out by said guy. The worst part was that I saw him a few days later on Halloween. Sober.”

NUS has criticised such pages for their derogatory treatment of women, a feature of ‘lad culture’. Many of the posts are boasts of sexual exploits, including one statement in particular: “she is dutifully giving this saviour of a bouncer a thank-you blowjob”.

Stacey Divine, Women’s Officer for NUS Scotland, said: “Students should steer clear of these “Confession Pages”. An overwhelming number of the posts glorify misogyny and alcohol abuse, and contribute to a culture where stories about abuse of women is dismissed as banter.

“Sexual violence is no laughing matter. NUS’ Hidden Marks report found that 1 in 7 women students has been the victim of serious sexual assault or serious physical violence while at university or college. Only 10% of women students who have been seriously sexually assaulted have reported it to the police, and of those who did not, half said it was because they felt ashamed or embarrassed, and a further 43% because thought they would be blamed for what happened.

“If there needs to be another reason to avoid this pages, we’d remind students that sending personal information to anonymous sources leaves students open to extortion. It is a very bad idea to hand over personal information that, if made public, could damage job prospects, lead to expulsion from college or university, or even criminal charges.”

Although the ‘confessions’ are posted using the page’s admin and therefore are meant to be anonymous, there has been some concern over the identity of each person being revealed. This could result in these ‘confessions’ re-emergin students later on in life.