The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World


In addition to this, the PageRank algorithm considers the frequency and location of keywords within a web page and how long the web page has existed. This could result in what Eli Pariser calls "information determinism" where our previous internet-browsing habits determine our future. An increasing number of police departments are utilizing a new technology known as predictive analysis -- a tool that most certainly brings a Minority Report-like world to mind. Back in 2010, it was announced that, by using IBM's predictive analysis software (called CRUSH, or Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History), Memphis's police department reduced serious crime by more than 30%, including a 15% reduction in violent crimes since 2006.

Meet the Young Black Entrepreneurs Taking On Tinder


Justin Gerrard speaks quickly, Brian Gerrard speaks slowly. But their oil-and-water partnership helped them create Bae, a dating app for black people. "If you are a black person, you see Tinder as a white app," says Brian Gerrard. But the idea is to create an app for black people to safely meet people of all races who want to form a genuine connection.

Publicly released OkCupid profiles taken down due to DMCA claim


At the time, OkCupid claimed the scraping the site for data violated the site's user agreement and it now appears Open Science Framework is complying with OkCupid's DMCA claim. "The repository is currently unavailable due to a DMCA claim sent by OKCupid. It's unclear to me which part they claim copyright on," Kirkegaard told Retraction Watch. After the controversy broke, Aarhus University distanced itself from Kirkegaard, stating that the OkCupid project was not part of his student work at the university.

OkCupid Study Reveals the Perils of Big-Data Science


On May 8, a group of Danish researchers publicly released a dataset of nearly 70,000 users of the online dating site OkCupid, including usernames, age, gender, location, what kind of relationship (or sex) they're interested in, personality traits, and answers to thousands of profiling questions used by the site. This sentiment is repeated in the accompanying draft paper, "The OKCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users," posted to the online peer-review forums of Open Differential Psychology, an open-access online journal also run by Kirkegaard: Some may object to the ethics of gathering and releasing this data. For those concerned about privacy, research ethics, and the growing practice of publicly releasing large data sets, this logic of "but the data is already public" is an all-too-familiar refrain used to gloss over thorny ethical concerns. Rather, we should highlight this episode as one among the growing list of big data research projects that rely on some notion of "public" social media data, yet ultimately fail to stand up to ethical scrutiny.

Scientists release personal data for 70,000 OkCupid profiles


The researchers, Emil Kirkegaard, Oliver Nordbjerg, and Julius Daugbjerg Bjerrekær, used software to automatically scrape profiles and then uploaded it in a set onto the Open Science Framework, a forum and repository for scientists to share data. As Kirkegaard repeatedly stated on Twitter, the data was indeed publicly available, but the scraping violates the dating site's terms and a possible legal matter, an OkCupid spokesperson told Vox. Even Aarhus University in Denmark, where Kirkegaard is a student, publicly distanced itself from him and noted that the profile data was not collected on behalf of the university. Second, and more importantly, OkCupid users give consent when signing up for the dating site to mine their profiles and activity.

OkCupid user account data released for the titillation of the Internet


Reports indicate that sensitive OkCupid data belonging to almost 70,000 users has been released online by researchers. According to Motherboard, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark have released a paper called "The OKCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users," which contains information on users including usernames, sexual preferences, orientation and more. A slice of OkCupid user data is available to the public. You can find some profiles by using a search engine to bring up specific usernames and part of the information the person provided to the dating service.

OkCupid slammed for 'offensive and discriminatory' survey question


Learning disability campaigners are calling on dating app OkCupid to apologise and remove an "offensive and discriminatory" question from its site. Users who signed up for OkCupid were asked a series of questions designed to pair people with compatible matches; one of which was brought to the attention of Mencap, a charity representing people with learning disabilities. Users were asked: "Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?" Mencap campaigner Ciara Lawrence -- who has a learning disability -- was "horrified" when a colleague brought the question to her attention, prompting her to launch a petition calling on the dating app to remove the question and apologise for any offence it has caused. "As someone with a learning disability who is married and thinking about maybe having children in the future, I find this question inappropriate, offensive and discriminatory," wrote Lawrence in an official statement.

There's no perfect equation for getting laid in the Tinder age


While the king of all hookup apps is notoriously tight-lipped about its mathematical matchmaking techniques, a recent article in Fast Company revealed that Tinder sorts users with an internal desirability ranking. It's clear that we want the algorithm to work and apps like Scruff and Tinder trade on that desire, but evidence to support the efficacy is largely anecdotal. According to an oft-cited paper published in Psychological Science and the Public Interest, a research team led by Northwestern University professor of social psychology Eli Finkel found that there's no evidence to prove that algorithms are better than humans at predicting compatibility. The paper's summary puts it this way: "Part of the problem is that matching sites build their mathematical algorithms around principles --typically similarity but also complementarity -- that are much less important to relationship well-being than has long been assumed.