'Dating Site' Lifts 250K Facebook Profiles

Creators say their work explores online identity
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2011 10:29 AM CST
'Dating Site' Lifts 250K Facebook Profiles
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in the Galileo Auditorium on Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A website calling itself a dating service managed to launch with a whopping 250,000 profiles—by scraping data from public Facebook profiles. Lovely-Faces.com took names, images, and locations from thousands of users and used an algorithm to place them in categories like “Easy Going,” “Smug,” and “Funny.” But those behind the site say it’s not a business: It’s an art project.

“Facebook, an endlessly cool place for so many people, becomes at the same time a goldmine for identity theft and dating—unfortunately, without the user’s control,” the site’s creators say in a statement. “If we start to play with the concepts of identity theft and dating, we should be able to unveil how fragile a virtual identity given to a proprietary platform can be.” Lovely-Faces is one several prank sites they've made; others have targeted Google and Amazon, Wired reports. Facebook says it’s “investigating and will take appropriate action.”
(Read more Facebook stories.)

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