The Grudgebridge Facebook page announced on 11th May that it would be dedicated to "taking down drinking societies" Louis Ashworth

Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) has criticised the platform Grudgebridge today in “allowing blatant slander without accountability”, following a series of posts regarding its members.

The association has labelled Grudgebridge posts directed at the culture within CUCA as a “baseless smear”, and has claimed that the posts were “written in a similar style” by one member “with an axe to grind against current and past committees”.

A spokesperson for Grudgebridge said in response: “We deal with a large volume of submissions and while we use as much digression [sic] as we possible when reposting things, we are not omniscient”. The page’s current policy is to remove posts which are claimed to be untrue, and which refer to “an easily identifiable legal person” who has contacted the page to request that a post be removed. The spokesperson noted that the posts in question were directed at CUCA generally, rather than at specific individuals.


Got a story for us?

Seen something you think Varsity should be talking about? Contact our News team at news@varsity.co.uk.


They added, however, that when “things come down to a ‘he said’ ‘she said’ and we have no way of discerning truth or not, and the person is not identifiable”, the page will “usually leave it up”.

In reference to the posts regarding CUCA members which are still on the page, the Grudgebridge spokesperson said: “It’s not clear to us whether or not these posts are true.” CUCA has labelled the accusations levelled against the association as false.

Grudgebridge posts are submitted using an entirely open and anonymous platform. CUCA Chairman Dylan Coll-Reed said: “Free speech is valuable only insofar as those participating are accountable for what they say. When this mechanism is removed, it opens very dangerous avenues for abuse.”

CUCA’s original statement about the allegations, published shortly before 2pm, accused the page of setting “a very dangerous precedent for anyone who dares speak out against their narrow ideology” in “permitting such a volume of untruths to be published without vetting or concern”. The post was later edited to remove the phrase, “for anyone who dares speak out against their narrow ideology”, which a CUCA spokesperson said was to “make it more concise”.

Following the decision of the Crescents, Trinity Hall’s all-male drinking society, to disband amid controversy of a leaked video posted to Grudgebridge earlier this month, the page announced that it would be dedicated solely to exposing drinking society behaviour.


READ MORE

Mountain View

CUCA under fire for advertising ‘Rhodesian Reception’ with white rule cabinet minister

This week has seen a broadening of the platform’s focus beyond the eradication of drinking societies, with a number of posts making unsubstantiated allegations about the culture within CUCA in accusing members of behaviours including racism, sexism, classism and bullying.

Coll-Reed added: “We do not investigate claims made on an anonymous smear page”, adding that “CUCA encourages anyone with a genuine complaint to contact the association where it will treated with the utmost importance.”

He asserted: “We pride ourselves on being accessible and open all members of the University. This has been reflected by our current and our past committees.”

CUCA has previously come under fire for a culture of “aggressive sexism” in June 2016 by its former Women’s Officer Eleanor Costello, who said that there was a belief among members that “actively encouraging diversity [within CUCA] was somehow left-wing and discriminatory”. The CUCA committee this term currently has no female or non-binary members.

Sponsored links