OkCupid Experimented on Users
Dating site 'brags about messing with emotions'
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2014 2:34 AM CDT
Looking for love with all the wrong data?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Online dating firm OkCupid has admitted using its members as guinea pigs—and, as its blog post title "We Experiment on Human Beings!" signals, it isn't exactly sorry about it. The company says it has played around with people's profiles, removing text and photos in some cases and telling users they were a 90% match for each other when they were really a 30% match, the Washington Post reports. The results were fairly predictable: Users told they were 90% compatible were a lot more likely to exchange messages than users told they were a 30% match. OkCupid revealed the real scores after the experiments ended, though it's not clear how many real-life dates the games with user data may have resulted in, the New York Times notes.

In the blog post, site co-founder Christian Rudder defends the experiments. "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website," he writes. "But guess what, everybody: If you use the Internet, you're the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That's how websites work." Facebook was slammed as immoral when similar experiments came to light recently, but OkCupid's efforts are "way creepier," writes Rebecca Greenfield at Fast Company. The site not only brags "about messing with people's emotions for the sake of science," she writes, but the results of changing compatibility scores appear to show that "the company's algorithm doesn't work."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
OKCupid Reveals 'Bad Date' Experiments is...
20%
10%
4%
3%
15%
49%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 7 comments
FrankFurter
Aug 2, 2014 2:58 AM CDT
People don't get it. They aren't doing anything.
han_stavanger
Jul 29, 2014 6:35 PM CDT
If they were messing with me, it seemed to work well for me. That's where I met my wife.
JERZJOE
Jul 29, 2014 9:02 AM CDT
Thanks! We need to know that some people on those dating sites are PIGS! There ya go!