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OK Cupid confesses to Facebook-style user experiments

Not OK
Tue Jul 29 2014, 10:06

email-loveDATING WEBSITE OK Cupid has admitted that it lied to users about their compatibility with other singles as part of a user "experiment".

OK Cupid users an algorithm to determine a potential couple's suitability, based on information such as interests and ambitions. However, the firm has confessed to changing the results of the algorithm to tell some users that they were compatible when they were, in fact, not.

The admission, which comes just weeks after Facebook confessed to purposefully misleading its users in a psychological study, came from OK Cupid co-founder Christian Rudder in a blog post titled, "We Experimented On Human Beings."

He said, "We noticed recently that people didn't like it when Facebook 'experimented' with their news feed.

"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."

"When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other."

Rudder went on to detail some of the experiments that have been carried out on OK Cupid users. For example, in one of the studies which took place in January 2013, the website removed all users' images to see how it would affect interactions. OK Cupid said it found that people were quicker to respond to messages, and exchanged information more rapidly.

While this news likely won't go down very well with users of the website, OK Cupid has said that it plans to continue with the experiments. µ


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