A list of University of Chicago students alleged to have committed sexual assault was taken down from Tumblr shortly after its publication.
Last weekend, an anonymous group of “Concerned Citizens” at the university drew up a list of current male students charged with some form of sexual assault against women and published it virally through a tumblr.com domain known as the “Hyde Park List” (a reference to the university’s location in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighbourhood). The severity of the charges associated with each individual was marked by “Code Red” for more serious cases and “Code Orange” for others.
As yet, only Jezebel and Feministing have reported on the Chicago list being taken off the internet. However, the “rapist list” is not a new phenomenon: as Jill Filipovic has reported, Columbia students employed a similar strategy in response to the perceived failings of a college sexual assault policy whereby “many accused sexual assailants remain on campus”.
While the Tumblr platform remains down, University of Chicago survivors and alumni have taken to Twitter to decry the situation:
Meanwhile, the comments on the Facebook posting of the Feministing article reveal differences in opinion over whether to prioritise victims’ ability to name names over alleged abusers’ anonymity:
Along with the Columbia list, the Chicago incident can be contextualised with other forms of activism in response to university authorities’ methods of dealing with campus assault – a cause endorsed by figures ranging from Kerry Washington to Obama.
Illustration: Naoise Dolan.