NEWS

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May 13, 2005

Facebook parody puts ass where face was

Circumcisions are not the only permanent consequences from Scav Hunt 2005. In an effort to fulfill Item 162 on the judges' wish-list, members of the Snell-Hitchcock team produced theassbook.net, a fully functional spin-off of the popular Facebook with a racy raison d'être: assist students in the procurement of ass.

As part of this year's Scav Hunt list, teams could earn 28 points by creating an exact replica of The Facebook (thefacebook.com). Instead of linking people with similar interests and music preferences, however, The Assbook (theassbook.net) provides a forum to connect the dating history, sexual encounters, and particular fetishes of its users.

"Basically, I like the fact that what started as a joke is taking on a life of its own," said Yitzhak Wasileski, a third-year in the College and the driving force behind the website's creation. With the help of his Snell-Hitchcock teammates, Wasileski took the Scav Hunt prompt to its maximum potential, describing his creation as The Facebook's "evil twin."

Leila Sales, a third-year in the College and fellow Snell-Hitchcock team member, particularly enjoyed collaborating with Wasileski on the site. "Ever since The Facebook opened at the U of C last year, I had wanted there to be a website charting hook-ups, though I had nowhere near the skills or motivation to actually make that happen," Sales said. "So I was so excited that it was an item for Scav this year. It's just so rare and fantastic that the judges ask to see something that you had already known you wanted to make."

In trying to win over the Scav Hunt judges, Wasileski and his teammates faced the challenge of imitating The Facebook's every design and layout detail. Mame Maloney, a first-year in the College, designed the site's graphics so familiar to Facebook addicts, with the main difference being a bare gluteus maximus in place of the generic face.

Wasileski, however, was the main reason for the site's success. "[He] did all the work," Sales said, adding that Wasileski focused on The Assbook for three sleepless days and nights. "This was Scav Hunt, where we're accustomed to seeing people work hard, and we were still all amazed by how hard Yitz worked to get the site just perfect."

Wasileski, whose code created the only fully functional and integrative Assbook among all the teams, admitted that the task was particularly difficult. "Actually doing the whole thing, all together, was a decent amount of work," said Wasileski, adding that the effort was "worth it."

Membership on The Assbook has continued to grow, an unexpected result of the team's initial plan. "Well, I suppose I should have guessed that college students, social networks, and hooking up would make a good combination, but I honestly thought it was just going to be a Scav Hunt thing until people started signing up in droves," Wasileski said. "There was some sense of ‘Oh man, this could really become something' during Scav Hunt when more and more people started ‘hooking up.'"

As of Thursday, The Assbook had 673 members distributed across 82 different schools across the country. "The U of C has around 400 and Stanford around 100," Wasileski said. "Actually, I got a request for an interview with the Stanford Daily…so I guess the word is already spreading."

The site has created a tremor throughout the student body of a school where "the only thing that goes down on you is your GPA." Dave Malito, a fourth-year in the College, had only recently heard of the site. "Well, first I didn't believe the site existed," Malito said, "but now I see it, and I'm tempted to register." He added, "But I don't want people to know my ass record…I just want to know other peoples.'"

While the future of The Assbook is unclear, Wasileski remains committed to his creation. "I still want to focus on the core goal of getting users laid…or at least having fun, you know, whatever works," Wasileski said. "I'd like to see a future in which people don't rely on The Assbook to hook up—but instead use it maybe to break down some barriers or facilitate the process," he said. "You know, grease the wheels…or lube them, if you prefer."

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