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July 29, 2014

OKCupid issued a statement stating that it is OK for websites to experiment on users. But, dear Public, before you outcry again, take a look at what those experiments were.


When news broke of Facebook manipulating user emotions through the sorts of posts they were exposed to in their newsfeed as a part of an experiment, it caused a public outcry about the ethics of such practices (not a big enough outcry for people to stop using Facebook, of course, but an outcry nonetheless). Since then, the dating website OKCupid has issued a statement claiming it’s OK for sites to conduct experiments on people. Here are some examples of experiments that OKCupid has conducted on its users:

  • Set you up with attractive, cool, financially stable dates but who are already in happy marriages.
  • Matched you with your sister a bunch.
  • Did a Find/Replace for any instance of “travel” and switched it to “commit hate crimes.”
  • Added “love to laugh” to the one profile on the site that didn’t already have it.
  • For three hours, everyone was that Tara Reid pic where her boob fell out.
  • Included everyone’s dick size. (Admittedly, these were just educated guesses.)
  • In the gender options, “women” was changed to “vaginalmen.”
  • If you put “doctor” as your occupation, OKCupid added “french horn players only” to your profile.
  • Set up folks with the same unisex names to see what’d happen. Chris and Chris went well. Pat and Pat went BAD.
  • If you listed a favorite quotation, regardless of which one you chose, it attributed it to Sir Farts a Lot.
  • Used all information gathered for upcoming OKCupid Book and told you you’d receive royalties.
  • Users were given better matches depending on how many times they sarcastically muttered “Okay, cupid” under their breath while using the site.
  • All users, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, are initially matched with Tom from MySpace.
  • Users with 99% compatibility with each other were told the other person has HIV.
  • Little boys were allowed to look at everyone’s conversations.
  • The word “hello” in messages was replaced at random with “dam i wanna fuk u titz.”
  • Really kind users with the lowest success rates were only shown users who had died.
  • Anywhere after someone had written the phrase “I love,” they inserted the word “Nickelback.”
  • Sent fake messages to people saying "Ur cute! I’m in your closet.”
  • Automatically sent 36 angry responses if someone didn’t respond to a message within 12 hours.
  • If ‘Game of Thrones’ was listed as an interest, it added “Into S&M” to the self-summary.