In a recent article for NYMag, OkCupid engineer Dale Markowitz explains why the platform still uses human moderators to check flagged accounts.
Whilst Markowitz acknowledges that an algorithm would be a much quicker and easier way to ban those who send inappropriate content online, he says this could mean losing a large number of users unnecessarily.
Although personal preference and bias can impact whether a message is deemed unsuitable, Markowitz says he believes OkCupid’s goal is to “optimise the site so that the most number of people go on the most enjoyable dates”.
This is something that may not be possible if an algorithm is used to ban users who send messages that include pre-determined content.
Markowitz said: “To me, one of online dating’s greatest innovations is that it allows people to disclose their potentially polarising preferences before a date ever takes place.
“That includes things like kink, non-monogamy, or supporting Donald Trump. As social convention stands, I can’t walk into a bar and coyly ask a cute stranger if he’d enjoy being slapped hard in the face during sex.
“But on OkCupid, that’s essentially what happens. So I’m existentially fulfilled by my work when I see people politely using OkCupid to express their relationship needs as a trigger warning to would-be dates.
“At its best, OkCupid lets daters be themselves — and find people like themselves.”
Read the full article here.