"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."
Would you be a member of a site that talked to you like that?
Facebook recently experimented with its users' data and they weren't too happy about it. The FTC even got involved.
Will the same backlash be seen with OKCupid? A recent blog post to the dating website proudly proclaims, "We Experiment on Human Beings!" and here's what they found:
1. This might be the most disturbing point of the experiments. OKCupid purposely connected bad matches and wanted to see if the two subjects would like each other simply because OKCupid told them to.
To test this, we took pairs of bad matches (actual 30% match) and told them they were exceptionally good for each other (displaying a 90% match.)† Not surprisingly, the users sent more first messages when we said they were compatible. After all, that’s what the site teaches you to do.
2. OKCupid works better if there are no photos posted to a profile. The site removed all photos from the site on January 15, 2013, dubbed "love is blind day," 44 percent more people responded to first messages, conversations went deeper and contact details were exchanged more quickly.
3. Photos are everything on OKCupid. Most of the site's users consider looks and personality to be the same thing, evidenced by experiments comparing profiles with no text versus no photos and profiles with both. From the blog:
So, your picture is worth that fabled thousand words, but your actual words are worth … almost nothing.
Maybe that's why this psychologist recommends Photoshopping your dating profile pictures.
What do you think? Should OKCupid be experimenting with people's love lives? Let me know what you think by posting in the comments below.