UCT blogger “exposed”
CORRECTION: The statements of Qamran Tabo were taken from a report compiled by Kieran Duggan, David Horscroft, and Ben Steenhuisen. In an email to Wits Vuvuzela Tabo claims that quotes attributed to her in the report were based on hearsay. Wits Vuvuzela would like to emphasise that it did not speak with Tabo directly and apologises if this was in any way implied in the article.[hr]
A current University of Cape Town student has been exposed as the alleged administrator of the controversial UCT Exposed blog which published academic grades, private information and correspondence of UCT students.
Pabie Tabo, also known as Qamran Tabo, is thought to be the originator of the blog and facebook page. Earlier this year, Tabo was embroiled in controversy for an articke in the UCT student newspaper called ‘the most attractive race poll’.
A report detailing her alleged involvement in the blog was compiled by UCT students Kieran Duggan and David Horscroft, as well as former UCT Computer Science employee Ben Steenhuisen. They wrote that the blog “publically name[d] and shame[d] people based on their marks or dress sense, accused UCT members of racism, and sexually objectified other UCT students”. It caused emotional distress to several of the blog’s targets, one of whom talked of suicide.
Duggan, Horscroft and Steenhuisen investigated the site by contacting the site’s administrator, named as “John Smith”. They shared a link hosted on their own server, which promised “juicy information” if clicked on.
From this link, known as a trap or “honeypot”, they were able to determine the geographical position of the computer used by the administrator when “he” accessed the link. They traced it back to a computer in UCT’s Computer Sciences building. During the time the link was accessed, the computer was logged into the UCT profile of Qamran Tabo.
Tabo responded to the report by denying any association with the blog. She alleged that a third party accessed her UCT login profile to publish information. “I let someone use my PC in the lab on Friday. It was after a Maths test and I even have an alibi.”
The researchers who compiled the report said it would be “relatively easy for UCT investigators to confirm or deny whether or not it was Tabo who accessed her UCT profile from the computer lab in question by reviewing security camera footage”.
Earlier in the year Tabo conducted a poll with the stated purpose of discovering which race was most attractive to UCT students looking for love. In an article, called Is love colour-blind?, she claimed the poll found Caucasians to be most attractive to other races.