OkCupid disclosed this week that they had conducted experiments on users, including a test to see whether its assessment of their matchability actually led to successful dating. “To test this, we took pairs of bad matches … and told them they were exceptionally good for each other,” OkCupid President Christian Rudder wrote. “When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other.”
The problem with this is that this might be a serious violation of the FTC act, which essentially doesn’t allow any company to do “unfair and deceptive” practices that might harm consumers. “When you’re matching people up with individuals who are not good matches, that would certainly be deceptive,” Jesse Brody, of Los Angeles law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips, told Reuter
The only problem with this claim is that OkCupid is free. It would be hard to claim that they actually violated the FTC Act since there were no actual damages. If they actually paid for it, and were not aware of these tests, then maybe there would have been damages.
OkCupid, which launched in 2004, is owned by media conglomerate InterActive Corp (IAC), which also owns similar dating sites such as Match.com and the Tinder mobile app.