It looks like Mark Zuckerberg would not have got Facebook going if he’d started it at a British University. The founder of a UK site integrated with Facebook and Twitter allowing students to flirt has been fined £300 for bringing his university into disrepute. FitFinder only started last month but rapidly expanded to universities across the country.
But founder Rich Martell, 21, a final-year computer sciences student at University College London, has been forced to take the site down. UCL said it had been contacted by a number of other universities unhappy about FitFinder. It’s fined Martell £300 under UCL’s “Disciplinary Code of Bringing the College into Disrepute” and told him that failure to pay the fine would put his degree at risk.
Let’s see: a student produces an innovative website, the sort of thing that isn’t big now (like Facebook or Google weren’t when they started) but which could become big (like Facebook and Google are now). Is he given a pat on the back and told well done? No, he’s fined and forced to take the site down.
UCL’s actions have brought themselves more into disrepute than this student’s. Universities should be supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, not hindering it. The scumbag at UCL responsible for this decision should be required to write a grovelling apology and themselves fined £300.