Student Suspended For FaceMash Clone

Much like the character of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, but taking the idea to a whole new level, a high schooler from Illinois put together a ranking of 50 female classmates and gave them scores based on their looks and alleged promiscuity.

Two of the female classmates told CBS 2 News that the comments included “racial slurs” and “hateful comments,” and that the ranking singled out different parts of girls’ bodies to attract attention to their pros and cons. The list circulated first on Oak Park-River Forest High School’s campus, and then made its way to Facebook — because, you know, there’s nothing like embodying the spirit of the times if you’re about to humiliate women. Right.

The perpetrator also made hard copies of his Facebook list and gave them out at school. The ranking of the girls classified them with labels such as “Fallen Angel,” “Blonde Bombshell,” and “The Hangover.”

The saddest part of all this is the realization that sexism and misogyny are still very much ingrained in the way teenagers socialize and interact with each other. “Hundreds of students cheered him on,” Haley Rae told CBS about the now suspended student.

Rae is one of the two girls who took it upon herself to put an end to the harassment, partially using the social network to right its wrong: she opened up a second Facebook group, called Unlisted, so that women could speak out against bullying and misogyny going on in their schools. “Students just didn’t see the fundamental wrong, the sexism and racism of it,” the other girl who speaking out, Julia Levy, told CBS.

The incident is reminding everyone about early scenes from The Social Network, in which Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jessie Eisenberg, created the website FaceMash.com to compare and rank (hacked) pictures of girls with his buddies. That whole segment of the movie is also wrapped in “cool” music and snappy dialogue and editing, as if to give the feeling that these were exciting times for everyone involved. Even when some people frown or are uncomfortable at the idea, what one takes away from this segment of the film is that scrutinizing pictures in this way is a social experience, meant to be shared with friends. Click here to watch an excerpt from this part of the film.

The boy from Oak Park-River Forest High School is currently suspended and faces disciplinary review that could result in expulsion. Of course we aren’t putting the blame on the movie – - people are ultimately the ones that do wrong, not movies, video games or YouTube videos. But still, we can’t help asking: Do you think the student got the idea from watching The Social Network?

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