After being at the centre of huge controversy over the last week, the ‘Hotties of Melbourne’ page has been deleted.
The page, which had a petition with 23,000 signatures asking to have it removed, was online last night but after looking for it this morning, it has disappeared.
We’re not sure whether the page’s admins or Facebook itself deleted it, but we’ve asked the social network what happened. We’re still waiting to hear back.
Laura Brandthorn, who created the petition Monday, argued the page promoted a rape culture.
She wrote on the change.org petition page earlier this morning thanking those who signed it, congratulating them about its removal.
“This is a fantastic achievement,” she wrote.
“It has sent a clear message that predatory, sexist and disrespectful behaviour has no place in a University, especially within The University of Melbourne.
“The mere existence of the page, and others like it, show that there is a need for a greater discussion within educational institutions about the culture generated on campus.”
Brandthorn has since received a mountain of support, but also some criticism from people who believe it is harmless campus fun.
The page is a forum where photos of Melbourne University students are posted, and people then comment on them. Most of the time the images aren’t sent in with the photo subject’s permission.
And it wasn’t the only page of it’s kind that exists. Macquarie University, UTS and Curtin University all have similar pages started by students. All of their pages are still online.
It is somewhat ironic that the row is over a page on Facebook, which was first created by Mark Zuckerberg as a platform for students at Stanford college to rate each other.
Admins of the Hotties of Melbourne University page say they remove pictures when requested. The students featured are overwhelmingly female, though some men are featured as “hotties” too.
The page hasn’t been regularly updated much in around a year. The last post occurred on March 13, and the most recent before that in August 2015.
Since the petition went live, the page has also grown from 14,000 likes to more than 16,000.
We’ll update this when we hear back from Facebook.