Yesterday, the group "Upsetting Rape Culture" and affiliated conspirators redirected traffic from Playboy's "annual college party guide" to a convincingly similar one that featured pro-consent statements. The altered "party commandments" aggressively focused on promoting "consent culture," beginning with the altered home page, which stated:
A good college party is all about everyone having a good time. Consent is all about everyone having a good time. Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And f— those people.
The altered site was impressive enough in itself, but more significant is the network of college students who created mock sites to promote it. In addition to redirecting traffic to a fake Playboy site, the group created fake news coverage on the Huffington Post, Upworthy and Brobible. At its height, the sites were receiving upwards of 3,000 hits an hour.
In an interview with Raw Story, Upsetting Rape Culture's Rebecca Nagel said the point of the redirect and its associated promotions was to draw attention, first, to the fact that a robust consent culture "already exists at many colleges and universities." More importantly, increasing the awareness of consent culture makes it "easier to have conservations about consent."
"It's not a one-to-one correspondence," Nagel said. "But much like in the '80s and '90s when condoms became part of that culture, we want 'consent' to be part of ours. As [Kelsey Yale] said at the University of Wisconsin [as part of this campaign], 'consent is the first thing I do with my mouth.' We want to make this the norm."
The students responsible for the redirect and "conspiracy" to promote it are, according to Upsetting Rape Culture: Maria Romas from University of Maryland, Cinneah El-Ahmin from Columbia, Arianna Rose from Hampshire College, Sophie Hess at Oberlin, Meghana Kulkarni at University of Michigan, Kelsey Yale at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Lily Manganiello from Skidmore, Dasha Burns from University of California Berkeley, and Katya Palsi from Rowan University.
[Image of altered Playboy site courtesy of Upsetting Rape Culture]