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The Badger Meets With Sussex Secret Admirers

The Badger meets with the founder of Sussex Secret Admirers, the Facebook page that allows you to reveal your deepest secrets, crushes and stories anonymously.

Q: How much can you tell me about the site and about its founders?

A: Well, Sussex Tell Him, Tell Her [a rumors Facebook page] came actually first and then I saw another University do Secret Admirers and I thought, wow, it’s taking off pretty quickly! I’ll start one for Sussex. Originally it was just between us friends and then it sizzled out and grew into the admirer page.

Q: Do you know who started Sussex Tell Him, Tell Her?

A: I did. And when Sussex Secret Admirers went live, I just wrote a post telling everyone on the older page that this was the new one.

Q: Clearly Sussex Secret Admirers is one of the most viewed pages here at Sussex, everyone kind of secretly hopes they can be on it. Do you ever get people that post about themselves?

A: Yeah! It has happened. Sometimes I go ahead and post it, sometimes I just tell them to get a life.

Q: So you answer people?

A: Yeah, sometimes I do, if I have time. I mean, if it’s just for a confidence boost, then I’ll post it, but if it’s something elaborate and weird, then I won’t. Although there was a stage when I was calling people out about it, but then I didn’t want to victimize people.

Q: You have a really fun job though! [founder laughs] You know everything people are too scared to say out loud. How do you feel about that? Do you ever recognize these people that post? Can you pinpoint them in lectures, on campus or at the bars?

A: In the past years it was more enjoyable because the posts were mostly about students you knew. Now it’s more of a first year thing and it’s not people you know but it’s still fun, it’s kind of nice of having the knowledge.

Q: Let’s talk about the creepers…

A: Yeah… there are some… weird people. Persistent posters that send in really odd stuff.

Q: Do you ever tell them to go away?

A: Not really, they just get ignored.

Q: Tell me the worst post you’ve ever received and if there is any topic you won’t post in particular.

A: There was this one poster that sent something in about her friend having an abortion. I’m not going to post that. That’s way too far. I’m not going to post anything that will potentially ruin someone’s life. If it’s a rumor that’s too intense I won’t bother with it. Also, some rumors are better when they just describe the person without actually naming it, it’s better because it remains ambiguous. If it’s persistent victimization of someone I’m not going to do it. I get asked a lot to take things down, especially with the Tell Her, Tell Him page. People who are looking for jobs ask me to take stuff down so it doesn’t appear on Google search or something. And I obviously don’t want to ruin people’s job prospects, so I ask them to comment on it so it arrives to the top of my news feed and I take it down right away.

Q: There was that one picture of Will Saunders, the president of UKIP society at Sussex, it was of his ass crack and it received many notes. Maybe if it had been someone else, visitors would have had a very different reaction to it.

A: I don’t monitor the comments, I read them occasionally and rarely do I remove them, unless they are completely out of order. I suppose it was on the fringes of going too far, and it had been a girl, I wouldn’t have posted it. Although there was one post that sparked a massive feminist debate a while ago, I can’t remember which one it was. It was interesting to watch.

Q: I think it’s a very interesting mirror of society here at Sussex. People always have this conception that Sussex is super left wing and super feminist and super this and that but in reality you see these posts and realize what people don’t want to say out loud and it’s controversial.

A: Exactly, it’s funny how much people will post that I know they would never say it out loud. Although, I would say that most of the times it is friends posting about other friends, so one of your girlfriends would write something to make you think someone was interested in you. A lot of the times, it’s not a boy to girl thing, it’s just something to spark up some excitement in a friendship group.

Q: Anonymity is crucial for your job, and you’re doing it so well. Who knows that it’s you?

A: Maybe six or seven people, all my close friends.

Q: Is there a way to get involved in this? What happens when you leave Sussex?

A: I don’t know actually… because it’s directly linked to my Facebook so if someone else were to run it, they would need all my log in details … it would have to be someone I really trust. I have had people try to buy the page.

Q: Has there ever been anything about you? Has someone ever said, “I fancy [name]” and it’s been you?

A: Nope. Only early on, when I was in halls and the whole concept kicked off, there were rumors flying around. But then it grew and it involved many other people.

Q: More recently there was a post very creepily taken, I believe it was a girl sitting on the bus and it got so many notes and likes. How do you feel about those things?

A: Well, I don’t know if it’s an infringement of privacy. Maybe it is. If she contacted me directly I would have taken it down right away of course, but in my opinion if it’s just a picture of someone on a bus sitting down and it’s not revealing or harmful, there’s not much wrong with it.

Q: Have you gotten revealing or harmful pictures?

A: Yeah, there have been a couple but they get deleted and ignored completely. I’m sure it breaks the law.

Q: You are literally the secret keeper of Sussex! People really trust this whole concept of anonymous posting without realizing that there is someone behind the screen.

A: It just shows that the secret is never really going to get on. Not many people know who writes the posts about them.

Q: Is there anything you want to tell the admirers or receiver’s of admiration?

A: [laughs] Just don’t take stuff too seriously. People can get so upset and it’s just stupid. And don’t wait for a post to be about you… There are people who persistently write, though. There’s a group of three boys who used to write almost every week, they would all tag each other the second the post would go on. People can get vicious, the rumors like “this guy slept with that girl” where only a few people would know… it gets bad because then you think, which of my friends can’t I trust?

Q: I noticed it’s not just a creepy admirer page, people report stolen phones and cards and such, and you’re doing a service to the community from that perspective, right?

A: Yeah, I always put that stuff up. It actually works, it reaches everyone or at least many people and they’re bound to tag the person that has lost it.

Q: Have there ever been any posts written from someone you know?

A: Never any of my closest friends, but friends of friends, sure! And I’ve seen them write some pretty nasty things…

Q: Does that change your perception of them?

A: Mmh… not really, it’s not my place to judge. Although, it is interesting to see how people will just stab someone else in the back just for a couple laughs. A lot of people from Sports teams tend to write in, particularly [a sport].

Q: I noticed some of the same people tend to comment a lot of stuff, it’s odd because this group always comment the same person!

A: [Laughs] Yeah! I know. It’s for laughs I guess.

Q: Does it get annoying?

A: Nah, I don’t get notifications directly. Thankfully. Although, there was a really funny one about the guy that passed out on the girl’s floor, she didn’t even know him… it got like 700 likes.

Q: I remember on that famous picture of the girl on the train you commented on behalf of her on the actual picture whilst it was blowing up with enraged people defending her. I’m assuming she asked you to write that comment, something along the lines of “I’m so glad I go to Sussex with girls like you.”

A: Yeah, I mean if someone wants me to defend him or her I will obviously. If they’re feeling bad I don’t want them to feel like they’re being bullied, ever.

Q: It was a great reflection of who we are here and I’m glad it got so many notes and that you wrote on behalf of her without having to reveal her identity. After this year, what’s going to happen to the page?

A: I actually haven’t thought about it at all, I hope it can continue, although it would have to be a new account and it would have to grow… it takes a while. It’s pretty impressive it’s still going on.

Q: It’s also pretty impressive people don’t know who you are.

A: [laughs] I know! I’m just this normal person from Sussex who came up with the idea first.

Q: A lot of posts are also really nice posts, like thank you posts are pretty common on your page!

A: Yeah, lots of people thanking the strangers that helped them get into a cab or fended off a creepy guy and what not. It’s really nice to see.

Q: Well, that’s all I’ve got. Anything else you want to tell us?

A: Just keep admiring!

 

Bianca Serafini

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Artist Focus
366 views

Exhibition Focus: Pre-Raphaelite Sisters

gracesowerby - December 10, 2019

One hundred and seventy years after the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood first exhibited their paintings, London’s National Portrait Gallery are celebrating the divine feminine muses of this historic art…

My Top 10 Albums Of 2019
Arts
710 views
Arts
710 views

My Top 10 Albums Of 2019

leo2r - December 9, 2019

It's been a great year for music, with many new artists releasing strong debut albums and promises of a prosperous career. We're only a few weeks away…

Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Arts
407 views
Arts
407 views

Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen

leo2r - December 8, 2019

Words by Rosanna Weber On October 4th, Nick Cave released his latest album Ghosteen, a double album, his first since Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus in 2004. Unlike…

Live Review: Temples @ Komedia
Arts
469 views
Arts
469 views

Live Review: Temples @ Komedia

leo2r - December 8, 2019

Words by Luke Edison   This Monday 2nd December, Komedia’s doors opened to Temples, a psychedelic rock band originating from Kettering, Northamptonshire. Having heard about their mesmerizing…

Sussex Ranger Takeover
Culture
340 views
Culture
340 views

Sussex Ranger Takeover

Rory Hinshelwood - December 5, 2019

By Rory Hinshelwood, Rosie Bettis, Zoe Taylor, and Max Morris-Edwards This week the team behind new-blog-on-the-block, Sussex Ranger hijack foodies focus to introduce their guide to student…

Should some reality TV shows be banned?
Comment
415 views
Comment
415 views

Should some reality TV shows be banned?

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

The Big Debate is a regular Badger feature which brings the spirit of competitive debating to the printed page. Two writers tackle a contentious topic, representing polarised…

Elitist campus accommodation
Comment
692 views
Comment
692 views

Elitist campus accommodation

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

By Eric Barrell With my tutors going on strike over casualisation and unequal pay, and my own struggles in cheap halls with near constant maintenance issues, I…

Let’s vote for manifestos, not idols
Comment
427 views
Comment
427 views

Let’s vote for manifestos, not idols

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

By Issy Anthony - Comment Sub-Editor I want us to question how we look at politicians, and more specifically, political leaders. This is the first election I…

Monitoring our monitors
Comment
554 views
Comment
554 views

Monitoring our monitors

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

Ruth Walters discusses the work of Sussex Sweatshop Free and their involvement with tech workers’ rights Sussex Sweatshop Free is a student-led campaign group working to raise…

Less work, more play: the 4 day week
Comment
401 views
Comment
401 views

Less work, more play: the 4 day week

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

By Will Day With Labour’s proposal to implement a four-day working week, the concept of working less for the same pay has been thrust into the public…

The knife crime crisis
Comment
273 views
Comment
273 views

The knife crime crisis

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

Joe Pearce discusses the ethical debate around ‘stop and searches’ Knife-crime is a sensitive topic, one often dividing opinion nationally. To combat gang-wars and possible intent to…

Bloodshed and tyranny in Colombia
Comment
499 views
Comment
499 views

Bloodshed and tyranny in Colombia

Rebecca Spencer - December 4, 2019

By Laura Lucia Rodríguez Peña Colombia has a long history of war and conflict. Nevertheless, in 2016 the National Government signed a peace agreement with the biggest armed…

Authentic cities and towns in Japan
Culture
10705 views
Culture
10705 views

Authentic cities and towns in Japan

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Vanessa Hung Always popular with travellers, Japan is a country with world-class cities, stunning landscape, spectacular natural scenery. Whether you have been to Japan before; or…

The evolution of iPod
Culture
206 views
Culture
206 views

The evolution of iPod

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Josh Talbot In the modern age of streaming technology, it is hard to imagine a time where there wasn’t an exhaustive library of songs literally at…

Brighton international eats
Culture
1224 views
Culture
1224 views

Brighton international eats

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Maaya Takata From vegetarian or vegan restaurants to cosy cafes for afternoon tea, from casual brunch to fine dining, Brighton offers various types of places to…

What’s going on with Falmer Moat?
Culture
162 views
Culture
162 views

What’s going on with Falmer Moat?

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Alana Harris  As the observant amongst us will have seen, the previously empty moat surrounding Falmer square has been filled with water. Many may be intrigued…

Christmas in Brighton
Culture
133 views
Culture
133 views

Christmas in Brighton

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Cloe Grampa Christmas is just around the corner and it seems that everywhere is getting into the festive spirit, but if the fairy lights around town…

Campus under Siege: Hong Kong Universities become battlegrounds
Culture
541 views
Culture
541 views

Campus under Siege: Hong Kong Universities become battlegrounds

vanessahtl - December 3, 2019

By Charlotte Brill Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests are showing no sign of fatigue. Over the past few weeks, University campuses across the region have become the flashpoints…

The Largest Maternity Scandal in NHS History
News
194 views
News
194 views

The Largest Maternity Scandal in NHS History

Becca Bashford - December 2, 2019

  By Angel Woo, Staff Writer. An internal report leaked by The Independent has revealed that at least 42 babies and three mothers died at Shrewsbury and…