You guys remember a few months ago, when OkCupid posted an analysis on what the best pick-up lines were, based on statistics from it’s dating website? At the time, I thought that was pretty cool, because it showed that a dating site was actually paying attention to statistics surrounding human interaction.
It was actually more interesting to me because I used to use OkCupid back in the day, before I met Allison. I haven’t been there in about three years, but all the same, I was sent this e-mail:
We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid’s most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you’d like to know.
How can we say this with confidence? We’ve tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people’s reactions to you in QuickMatch and Quiver.
. . .
Your new elite status comes with one important privilege:
You will now see more attractive people in your match results.
This new status won’t affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match’s answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You’ll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.
. . .
Suddenly, the world is your oyster. Login now and reap the rewards. And, no, we didn’t just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see.
So, okay, let’s get the ego out of the way. Thank you, OkCupid. That’s very kind of you to say.
Now, with that out of the way, What the Hell? This website has actually decided that they can tell how attractive I am by clickthrus? What if my avatar pic showed me leaning up against an expensive car, in a tailored suit, holding fists full of Franklins? That would certainly affect my clickthru count, but does nothing for my attractiveness. That seems like such an easy system to foil, it’s barely worth trying.
But even weirder is the eugenics angle. Suddenly I will be shut out from people who are deemed less attractive, missing out on the possibility of finding someone who truly thinks and believes the way I do, just because of our bone structure or hair color.
I think it’s pretty obvious why they say that they don’t send this e-mail to everyone. They don’t want the ugly people leaving in droves, and they are counting on the pretty people to demure politely, out of respect for the poor unfortunates that didn’t make it.
Well, as someone who probably only squeaked in at the 50.01% anyway, as someone who’s already in a committed relationship, as someone who believes in fair play and honesty, I’m the perfect guy to tell the world this is seriously messed up. OkCupid found a way to force people into lowering their expectations.
OkCupid just went “No Fatties.”