back to article OKCupid: OK, STUPID, YES we set you up with BAD DATES. On purpose

The recent uproar from users who had discovered Facebook was meddling with their minds is overblown, according to Christian Rudder, co-founder of dating site OKCupid. Facebook's academic study into manipulating the moods of its users by fiddling with their news feeds has sparked an FTC complaint and a lot of outrage – …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "Personality goes a long way"

    Hanging onto a piece of wood for dear life in face of all that fa***try? (not in the gay sense)

    I would say she DOES have personality.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contract conditions?

    Don't users pay OKcupid for 'matches?'

    So if they suddenly change it so that 'matches' are nothing more than random pairings are they no longer selling what they took money for?

    Facebook being free, theres not much you can do about what functionality they give you.

    But if you've paid for a dating service to then find out its not even pretending to use a matching algorithm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contract conditions?

      No. OK Cupid's free.

      There are one or two additional functions you can pay for, but they don't relate to the automated matching functions.

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Contract conditions?

      "So if they suddenly change it so that 'matches' are nothing more than random pairings are they no longer selling what they took money for?"

      As opposed to careful selections based on rigorous scientific principles you mean?

  3. Vector

    from the dept of redundancy dept...

    "Yes, it seems we really are that shallow, it seems."

    Pedantry served...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Um scoring in the top 99% just means you're not in the bottom 1%, you understand that, right?

    1. veti Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      I would guess that's a subediting error, it certainly looks like one.

      But it would be nice to have confirmation. Nicer still if El Reg could take more care in the first place.

      On topic: this is pretty much what I said when the Facebook story broke. Heck, I presume El Reg is doing the same thing to us right now: it'll be studying how people click on links, setting its rules for deciding which stories appear in the "top 5", and in that 'bar' 3 stories down the main page, and in the sidebar, and it'll tweak those algorithms - assuming they are automated, not manual, which would make them even more manipulative - to get more eyeballs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How do you manage to equate optimising advert reach with intentionally setting people up with non-suitors, or hiding good posts from your facebook friends (who in good faith expect you to see it) just to see if you get sadder?

  5. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    This says a whole more about human nature and our willingness to believe what we want to believe that anything else. Most of these website pages are built on the fly so it's not difficult to bias the results one way or the other. Sure, it's easier with modern technology but this type of manipulation has a long history.

  6. NP-Hardass

    Nothing to see here, move along...

    OKCupid has a proud history of coming up with interesting (and absurd) analyses of their users and habits. They have done so publicly since 2009: Plus, the website works by having you answer endless questions about yourself, it's a data analytics playground, unlike some creepers like Facebook.

  7. solo

    It's all about getting ***

    Anyone from the era of Socrates would say that [your looks is all you need for a date].

    But, I'll give a thumbs up for OKCupid for being honest. The results actually undermine and question their profile text system, eventually questioning all that [non-visual] data analysis.

    It's quite opposite of what FB did. They observed more +ve (/-ve) text in response to +ve (/-ve) texts and foolishly (biased) assumed that the poster were actually happy and not just trying to confirm to social atmosphere.

  8. Doogs

    "exchanged more messages than usual"

    I expect they'd be mostly about what the other person looked like then.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: "exchanged more messages than usual"

      More likely they were exchanging links to photos on other sites! After all you gotta have some redundancy!

  9. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    First in a long time

    That article on the OK trends was the first listed since 2011 when they were bought out by and I had thought the founders had simply quit at that point.

    It is also worth noting that an earlier blog critical of and other paid dating sites was pulled from the blog around that time.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge

    Happy ending

    I met my missus back in early 2009 on OK Cupid! I don't recall our compatibility percentage. I do recall seeing her profile recommended to me many times before she contacted me. I honestly never thought she'd even look my way after reading her profile.

    Sorry to hear that mactch dot com bought OK Cupid. OK Cupid seemed to be the only dating site that offered real contacts.

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