OkCupid owns up ‘Experiment on Humans’ for technology testing

OkCupid, the popular dating site, has admitted that they have been producing psychological experiments on their users, which leaked on Facebook.

Apparently, OkCupid had been busy lying to their users as they have been manipulating their photos and information for the sake of testing their technology.

Last Monday, OKC’s founder, revealed on his blog the three recently performed experiments they did, while manipulating their matching algorithm to merely test it. His blog post said, “We Experiment On Humans,” which proved Facebook’s revelation that their users were subjected to such experiments without their consent or knowledge.

They also exposed that they have been telling bad matches (30 percent) that they actually had a compatibility score of 90 percent.

These “lies” have sometimes resulted into meaningful conversations among the users of the dating site. The experimentations revealed showed that people got at least the same personality score with or without accompanying text, meaning the majority of users judged people solely on their looks.

OKC’s first experiment consisted of taking out the photos of users, which showed that people tend to overemphasize on the looks of a person.

Their second study tested how much a person’s looks mattered compared to what was written about them. Rudder stated, “According to our users, ‘looks’ and ‘personality’ were the same thing… So your picture is worth that fabled thousand words, but your actual words are worth… almost nothing.”

What was interesting was when OkCupid told its users that they were a good match, sent more messages and, even follow-up messages.

In spite of the fact that OKC owned up to these experimentations, Rudder’s message for the site’s users was this: “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.”


About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.