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Brighton students left uneasy over ‘Spotted’ webpage
A Facebook site designed to provide love in the library is causing a stir among academics.
Spotted is designed to allow people to secretly post messages to fellow students they have seen in the library and taken a shine to.
But the University of Sussex’s students’ union has received complaints from library users who say they are avoiding the building as they feel uncomfortable.
Messages on the Facebook page include the innocently worded: “To the tanned brunette sitting in the upstairs social area, you remind me of a mature Princess Jasmine, can I be your Aladdin and fly you away on my magic carpet?”
But many more are considerably cruder, leading to complaints from the student body.
The students’ union confirmed it had had a “significant amount” of people contact it over the past two to three weeks.
A member of the university’s Women’s Group said: “When I was first introduced to Spotted it made me feel horrific.
“I feel like I can’t go into the library.”
Students’ Union president Kelly McBride said the content of the site went against the university’s zero tolerance policy on discrimination and harassment.
She added: “The issue is also on the radar of NUS as Spotted pages have increasingly been cropping up at institutions across the UK.
“We have alerted the university to students’ concerns, and would like to work with them to address any issues that may arise.”
The University of Sussex Library tweeted: “We’ve heard that some students are uneasy about using the library as a result of Spotted: University of Sussex Library Facebook page.
“We are determined to do what we can to ensure that our users do not feel compromised when studying in this building.
“If you are concerned whilst using the library, please visit the Info Hub or Reception Desk where our staff would be pleased to advise.
“We all want the best possible study environment here, so please be considerate of the feelings and privacy of others.”
The students’ union said it did not know who ran the webpage, which also has similar sites for several universities, including Brighton.
Talking point: To what extent are 'spotted' pages fun or harassment? Share your views by commenting below or write in to The Argus letters pages firstname.lastname@example.org
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