OKCupid Responds to Feminist Geographer’s Criticisms


Speaking to Campus Reform, OKCupid have hit back against criticisms of their ‘attractiveness algorithm’ from cultural geographer, feminist and queer theorist Jen Jack Gieseking.

Gieseking, an assistant professor at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut), wrote in the Journal of Feminist Geography: “LGBTQ people still remain ignored and invisibilized on OkCupid”.

He claimed that OKCupid’s algorithm was biased, and that it worked in favour of “white, heterosexual, cisgender, Western males who are able-bodied, healthy, and aged appropriately as the norm.”

Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Hobley responded to the accusations by detailing OKCupid’s history of inclusivity in an interview.

“We take a lot of pride in creating a dating app that works for individuals of all sexual orientations, including the LGBTQ, and we have a strong track record that supports this”, Hobley said.

“OkCupid was the first dating app to expand genders and orientations, adding much-needed nuance like queer and lesbian along with many others”, she added.

Hobley also took the time to outline the workings of the attractiveness algorithm. Rather than working in favour of any demographic, she explained, the algorithm works “on a per-gender, per-orientation basis”.

Under this model, a user’s attractiveness is only determined by those who are seeking people in that demographic. The attractiveness of a straight male would not alter the rank of a gay woman, and vice versa.

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