Almost a year after campaigners asked for it to be taken down, OkCupid has removed a controversial IQ question from its matching system.
When users sign up to OkCupid, they are asked to complete a compatibility questionnaire that contains over 3,000 queries, which until recently included the question: “Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?”
In May last year, learning disability charity Mencap asked for the question to be removed from the platform, launching its #NotOkCupid campaign and creating a petition, which received 2,884 signatures, to try and persuade the dating platform to delete it.
Mencap’s Campaigns Support Officer Ciara Lawrence said: “Questions like this have no place in 2017. This question would never be directed at another group of people and by using it OkCupid are cutting out a whole group of people and labelling us as without the same basic rights as everyone else.
“As a person with a learning disability and someone who is married and may want a family in the future I find OkCupids refusal to take this question down discriminatory and disgusting.
“I wrote to OkCupid’s CEO last May asking if the question could be taken down but had no reply.
“Everyone deserves a chance to find love and I hope OkCupid take notice and finally delete this unacceptable question from their website and start to make sure their website is open and welcoming to people from all backgrounds.”
Mencap said research it conducted found that 75% of people saw OkCupid’s question as unacceptable and 74% thought it should be removed from the dating platform.
And after months of campaigning by Mencap, OkCupid has now responded to the issue with a statement, announcing its decision to remove the question.
In a statement posted to its official blog, Elie Seidman, the CEO of OkCupid said:
“OkCupid has always been dedicated to inclusivity. Our track record of advancing the interests of marginalised groups is long and extremely clear.
“While Mencap may be well-intentioned, they are speaking out against an organisation that shares their aim of promoting the interests of people who have been discriminated against.
“Questions are a core part of OkCupid, dating back to when we were founded.
“We have over 3,000 of them. The questions have been generated by staff and users over more than 10 years.
“Some are absurd and divisive. Some are not. The questions do not reflect OkCupid’s editorial point of view.
“Nonetheless, in this particular moment, when the world seems so divided, so full of animosity and fury, OkCupid is going to make one small gesture at lessening the noise. We have removed the question.”
Earlier this week, OkCupid added a new set of 50 questions to the platform, that cover issues like climate change and Donald Trump, along with a new personality-focused swiping system.
Read more about the changes here.