Exclusive: FitFinder Offline After Founder Is Fined

Popular student website FitFinder.co.uk has been forced offline – The Tab can exclusively reveal that the withdrawal comes after disciplinary action aginst the site’s founder.

Popular student website FitFinder.co.uk has been forced offline after pressure from universities.

The Tab can exclusively reveal that the withdrawal comes after disciplinary action against the site’s founder.

UCL student Rich Martell, 21, told The Tab that his degree “could be in doubt if the site remains up”.

He continued: “I have been told that a disciplinary panel is a very real option in which case a punishment such as expulsion would not be out of the question”.

The site was setup by 3rd year Comp-Sci Martell in April and has received 5 million visits since.

He recently said that he got the idea from the times in the library when his rugby team-mates would “text eachother when we see an attractive girl”.

Now anyone visiting its homepage is redirected to a page containing the “sad news” that the site would be temporarily offline after “increasing pressure” from universities.

Before today’s removal, the site allowed student to track the best library totty in Cambridge and around the country.

One recent post from Pembroke library read: “Male, Blonde hair. pretty boy red trousers, pouring over the iliad… i’d be his helen of troy; )”.

The site has been so popular that it has crashed UCL’s servers and now Martell has been handed the highest possible fine by the uni for “bringing the university into disrepute”.

And London college LSE told The Times “We’re against the site, and we’ve asked people not to use it. First of all we had some complaints from students who found it insulting and secondly if you’re in the library you’re there to study.”

On hearing the news today, Robinson 3rd year Robert Smith told The Tab: “Fit Finder has saved so much valuable revision time this term. Without it I’ll have to go back to the old fashioned method of doing the talent spotting lap of the Seeley library every half hour.”

He continued: “This Rich guy needs to man up and take the hit. You can see why UCL are only the fourth best in the world.”

An online petition to gather support for the site had gathered more than 1000 signatories after just a few hours.

A spokesperson for the University declined to comment on whether Cambridge authorities had exerted any pressure on those running the site.

  • anon

    What? What is the universities problem? It's just a bit of harmless banter…

  • Paul

    great site…love it….hope enough people sign the petition and it comes back!!!!

  • Phil

    He shouldn't have hosted it on the Uni's server, that's the problem! Put it up somewhere else and unless anyone makes a libel claim against the host then it's all good.

    • http://www.myspace.com/roshamfingbo Fred

      according to him in an interview he didn't host it on the uni server, which is why he's peeved about the fine.

  • I <3 Watson

    Tell the guy to stop being stupid and just set it up using his own servers instead of the unis.

  • lazyLAD

    ffs…now i'll have to actually go searching for the fitties myself. cambridge degrees don't leave time for that!

  • ohthattvblog

    Join the "save" fitfinder group:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13076503360

  • Anon

    By looking at where the servers are hosted it appears not to be in UCL. The Times have reported that there seems to be pressure from UCL in some threat of taking his degree away and not the face that UCL is where the website is hosted.

  • Shaun

    surely he can just pass/sell the website on to somebody not affiliated with any university…simples.

  • Droggles

    This article was topped by that one line from Oliver Kay.

  • Pingback: Lost For Words « THE TAB – www.cambridgetab.co.uk – All the latest Cambridge University news online

  • Rob Greenhalgh

    surely this will return very soon – check my blog on it – http://robgreenhalgh.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/uni

  • http://blog.eliotsykes.com/ Eliot Sykes

    While FitFinder is unavailable, you can see and post missed connections for in your area, university campus or not, at http://www.missedconnections.com/

  • anon

    how is this story a 'Tab exclusive'?

    • Joshi

      because we exclusively revealed the reason for the site going down before any other newspaper or website.

      hence the bit that says: "The Tab can exclusively reveal that the withdrawal comes after disciplinary action aginst the site's founder."

      got it?

  • elle

    Shit man, I loved that site. It's only innocuous fun!

  • melodee anne

    cool article. i love this concept of fit finder. lol.

    It’s a real shame that thefitfinder is down but I’ve found a pretty cool alternative called http://www.spotacutie.co.uk which even allows pictures.

    • facejolt

      cvcvcvcvcvcvcv