It's the website that's taken thousands of Facebook photos without user consent and asked the public to rate their 'hotness.' After a week of thousands of shocked students discovering their profiles are on the 'hot or not' Ratemash site, the man behind it all, Michael Healy, breaks his silence.
You have a team from all over, including people working from Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland and East Coast USA, what's the goal for Ratemash?
With Ratemash, we are making the process of making friends and going out seamless, simple and fun. The diversity of the team represents our intention to spread to the respective countries. Our team consist mostly of dealmakers who work directly with clubs, events and party organisers.
The idea of Ratemash (according to your website) is to make it easy to meet new people in universities and to make going out 'cheaper and more fun'. How do you think the website achieves this?
We achieve that by offering a seamless mechanism that lets you choose you may potentially be interested in meeting and if that person wants to meet you too. We'll introduce the two of you. An analogy of this is being able to choose whom in a club/bar, you would like to meet/ask out/dance with without the fear of getting rejected.
With the system of rating people hot or not, do the highest rated receive anything in return in terms of partying/nights out etc.?
Definitely, so we are awarding modelling contracts, access to top nightclubs, party invitations, spa vouchers and cash if you are in the top 50 for girls and are awarding modelling contracts, access to top nightclubs, party invitations, free alcohol and cash if you are in the top 50 for guys.
Can Ratemash scout people and use their Facebook photos without permission?
People are invited/nominated onto the website by their friends.
With all the uproar Ratemash has caused over the past couple weeks, are you planning to take the photos down that people didn't know were up?
Yes, we are actively removing people who were wrongly added to Ratemash.
How do you plan on doing this and resolving the situation?
We are working hard on removing people and have implement a page whereby you can remove yourself if you were wrongly added.
How many universities are currently on the Ratemash website?
So far, we have over 160 universities on Ratemash. Our aim is to get every university in the world on board.
Do you see Ratemash as a potential dating website?
I envision Ratemash as a platform for dating however won't consider it a "dating website".
As Rate Mash is working with nightclubs and parties, when students access Rate Mash, how are they able to get free entrance, discounted drinks, get on the guest list and get updates on exclusive events etc.?
We are in the process of organising deals, offers and promotions with top nightclubs so we are attempting to make it cheaper and more fun to go out. We also offer loyalty programs for the clubs to reward the people who party at their establishment on a regular basis.
Bonnie Dutton was just one of the people to find out her photo and private profile was on the Rate Mash. The Uclan student said: "When I saw my picture I was confused, as I haven't put my picture anywhere or agreed to anything I was annoyed as with the nature of my law course I don't want to be associated with a site discussing and rating people on their looks. I've emailed Ratemash with a template email given by my university's law society asking them to take it down as they didn't have permission, and I've had no response as of yet and my picture is still on there."
The case continues.