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Sex-rating social pages take off in Queensland

A plague of rats in the north

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A plague of geographically based Facebook "sex-rating" pages is spreading in north-east Australia, rating locals on their sexual pedigree.

The frequently short-lived "root-rating" fad pages are based on recommendations shared mostly by male, teen participants, mostly in Queensland regional locations, in which they rank previous and current partners.

Queensland has had city-based root-rating guides such as Bundaberg’s Bundy-Root-Rater (currently offline), with others covering the Mackay, Fraser Coast, and Warwick. A handful of similar pages have also started popping up in Victoria.

Facebook sites have getting media attention in recent days and at press time most them were displaying as “unavailable”, presumably taken down by Facebook.

Operating much like Mark Zuckerberg’s first college iteration of Facebook, ‘root-rater’ group members submit ratings on targeted individuals to an administrator, who then posts the information anonymously on a public wall.

The crowd sourced analysis includes ratings out of ten for sexual performance, graphic comments about the encounter, where it took place, and often the name of the rated individual or a link to their Facebook profile page.

Regional Mackay newspaper, the Daily Mercury reports that Mackay chapter of the root-rater has started dwindling in numbers after a report that local police were investigating the issue.

Before being taken down on Thursday night, the 2,070-strong Mackay root-rater page featured several well-known criminals and sports players. Acting Sergeant Angela Warcon, of Mackay's crime prevention unit, told the newspaper that police had the power to take action against participants.

“Under the Telecommunications Act you can be prosecuted,” she said. “Unfortunately people just don't understand that once it's out there in public it's no longer private.”

The disturbing Australian centric Facebook trend follows a similar incident last month in Victoria in which a men's-only Facebook page called the ‘Brocial Network’ emerged. The site, which has subsequently gone further underground, encouraged members to trawl Facebook and upload revealing photos of hot women - without their consent. ®

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