First Facebook, now this:
Similarly, the research conducted by OKCupid and Facebook didn't necessarily have to manipulate or lie to users. Surely, OKCupid's customers have dated in defiance of its algorithm before. Why didn't OKCupid, rather than misleading people, simply follow the fortunes of those who dated with a low predicted probability of success? In some of those cases, the algorithm would be right, and in others it would be wrong. With enough interactions between its users, it seems that OKCupid could have put together a data set similar to the one it got by subterfuge.
Listening to this story reported on BBC Radio 4 yesterday afternoon I was annoyed that it wasn't being called out as the unethical and shoddy business practice that it is. Can any of OKCupid's customers trust them ever again? Especially when founder Christian Rudder posts stuff like this. I can think of a better experiment: If all of your customers stop paying for the stuff you're "just making up", how long before you go out of business?