UK & World News

  • 29 July 2014, 11:58

Dating Site OKCupid 'Experimented On Users'

Dating site OKCupid lied to users about their compatibility with other singles as part of an "experiment", its founder has revealed.

The site uses an algorithm to determine two people's suitability as a couple - based on their stated interests, ambitions and desires.

But the site changed the results of the algorithm to tell some users who were incompatible that they were, in fact, highly compatible.

OKCupid said people were then much more likely to interact as a result.

Site founder Christian Rudder said it showed that the "mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth".

The experiment was revealed in a blog post by Mr Rudd, and comes after it emerged Facebook experimented on users by manipulating their news feeds.

In an article titled We Experiment On Human Beings! he wrote: "We noticed recently that people didn't like it when Facebook 'experimented' with their news feed.

"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."

He detailed other experiments which have previously been carried out using user photos.

In one of the studies, which took place in January 2013, the site removed all users' photos to see how it would affect interactions.

OKCupid found that people were quicker to respond to first messages, and exchanged contact information more quickly.

Those who did go on truly blind dates reported having a good time at the same rate as those who'd seen their potential partners beforehand.

On social media, some people said they were opposed to the experiments.

Twitter user Ranya Khalifa said the OKCupid admission was "creepy stuff", while Chishala Mpundu said: "I always thought something was twisted about that site."

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