The site featured photos of female students, taken without their permission, and allowed users to rank them on how sexy they were and even leave comments beneath the photos.
The site called Bestassas.com was named after the University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, the students of which were featured. It can only be presumed the founders were aware of how the name sounded in English, given the site’s content.
It apparently gave users the choice between photos of two female students, before asking the viewer to choose which was the hottest.
The website had only featured first year law students but according to the Unef union the plan was to expand it to cover all female students at the university.
The website has since been taken down after the union’s outcry that it was treating women as mere sex objects, not to mention the fact the photos were being uploaded online without their permission. It is believed they were taken from people’s Facebook pages.
The fact the creators were apparently planning to set up a version of the site for ranking male students did not appease the union.
“This type of competition, which is based solely on physical appearance has again reduced women to the status of objects and it has no place in our society,” said the union in a statement.
“The students do not go to university to be elected ‘the most beautiful girl at Assas’ but to learn and gain qualifications,” the statement added.
The directors of the university, who have apparently received complaints from both students and lecturers, also condemned the site but said they were powerless to act.
Despite the outrage and the condemnations, no one knows who exactly was behind the site, although it has since been taken offline.
An apology message was temporarily left on the site that read: “Our sole aim was to bring a little joy into the sad life of Assas students.”
According to BFM TV, the creators of the site said some students were proud of the place in the rankings and they were even contacted by the mother of one young woman, demanding that her daughter be included.
The concept of ranking two university students based on their appearance is exactly how the hugely popular social media site Facebook began at Harvard University in the US, way back in 2003.