Unless you’ve been living under a massive chunk of Hokie Stone, you know about Tech’s most popular Facebook page: VT Crushes. The page is not even a year old, and is one of the most well known across campus.
The concept is simple: anonymously share your crushes when you’re too afraid to approach them in real life. Simple, cute and innocent — right?
For the most part, the answer is yes. In some cases however, VT Crushes doesn’t only post forlorn lover’s laments, but occasionally “stalker” pictures to go along with them.
And those are the posts that make my creep radar shoot off the charts.
Many, if not all, of these crushes have no idea they are being photographed. They are also unaware that a picture of them is going to end up on a page that may be viewed and commented on, by a majority of the student body of their school.
I’m sure many of us are guilty of taking these pictures ourselves, and possibly even sending them to our friends, but our friends (hopefully) do not then go on to share that picture with the entire school.
Should a line be drawn? Should VT Crushes stop allowing posts that have pictures accompanying them?
It’s one thing to be mentioned in a post, where, unless someone feels the need to go and look you up, you can maintain a certain level of anonymity. It is another thing to have your face posted on a page with over 6,000 likes without your knowledge.
Well, without your knowledge until someone tags you in it.
Recently, a picture was posted of a girl sleeping when she apparently spent the night in someone else’s bed after a “weird night.”
Does that not set off major red flags for anyone else? Not only was this girl unaware of being photographed, but she was also in a vulnerable position where she couldn’t even have stopped the picture from being taken.
One could argue that posting a picture is no more invasive than when someone is tagged in the comments, but the difference lies in consent. The pictures on your profile are there because you are allowing them to be, whereas the picture on VT Crushes is one you might even not know exists.
It’s the same as the difference in being seen in a bathing suit and being barged in on while in your underwear: even though they are similar articles of clothing, you are choosing to let people see you in one while the other you are not.
Let it be said, I have no problem with VT Crushes. It’s a cute idea with sometimes even cuter results, and clearly does not intend to do any kind of harm. It is the stalker-like, no-permission-given pictures that I find issue with.