OKCupid manipulates its users matches to see if opposites attract

OKCupid, you clever little devil, fiddling around with our matches while we pine to make some sort of love connection.

Dating website giant, OKCupid has admitted to experimenting on its users, including putting the “wrong” people together to see if they would connect.

After the uproar with Facebook manipulating the feeds of its users, OKCupid decided it was time to fess up to playing around with user profile matching.

BBC reports how OKCupid is justifying its actions stating…

“If you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site,” it said. “That’s how websites work.”

Ok so every website is dicking around with us, we get it. At least tell us what you found out about online dating, love and sex…

OKCupid said one revelation was that “people just look at the picture”.

OKCupid ran profiles with pictures and no profile text for half of its test subjects, and vice versa for the rest. The results showed that people responded solely to the pictures. For potential daters, Christian Rudder [one of the founders of OKCupid] said that “your actual words are worth… almost nothing”.

NO SHIT…tell us something we did not know.

In one experiment, the site took pairs of “bad” matches between two people – about 30% – and told them they were “exceptionally good” for each other, or 90% matches. “Not surprisingly, the users sent more first messages when we said they were compatible,” Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OKCupid, said in a blog post on the company’s research and insights blog.

Further experiments suggested that “when we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other.” The company later revealed the correct scores to the participants.

Summing up OKCupid’s sheeple experiment for online dating goes something like this:

  • People look at photos and don’t really care about the ‘interests’, ‘my profile’, ‘about me’ crap.
  • When the algorithms gives super high compatibility marks for a match, users send a message.

In essence we want to hook up with hot women, who we convince ourselves, have lots in common with us.


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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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July 29, 2014

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