Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

OkCupid -- it's not me, its you

Alex Burinskiy | Aug. 6, 2014
So OKCupid has rushed to Facebook's defense by announcing that it, too, experiments on users' profiles. Is this any way to run a social site?

OKCupid users' reaction

There are a variety of ways a company can go about testing new ideas and strategies. However, it is becoming apparent that social networking and dating sites really only care about their bottom line and have checked your feelings at the door, leaving many users upset and hoping that the sites come crashing down. Some commenters on the OkCupid study were blunt:

"Another idiot internet dating site shoots itself in the foot, and I'm gonna enjoy watching you go down in flames."

"OkCupid doesn't really know what it's doing. Per your own blog post."

"So if this is the reality of online dating, where a company can read through your "private" messages and alter your results, I would call this one hell of a security breach. Rather than being a pawn of a money-making experiment and having your privacy violated, next time you see someone reading your favorite book on the train or find yourself talking to the person who makes your coffee in the morning, if you feel that spark, go ahead and keep the conversation going. Heck, you never know, you might end up marrying your baristaI did."

Although companies like Facebook and OkCupid have bulletproof terms of use, the ethics of their actions are questionable. None seem to consider the possibility that their actions will make their customers mad and undermine interest in their sites. IAC's other dating sites could see losses due to a breach of customers' trust. After all, when you send a message to someone, you should expect privacy, not an employee analyzing it to discern how long it took you to exchange phone numbers.

It seems that ethics have disappeared from social media companies. In this case, it's time to break up.


Previous Page  1  2  3 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.