It's not always about being funny.

Where’s my reply, @OkCupid? (Prelude to a lawsuit)

Some of you may have seen this tweet from me on August 30th:

OkCupid TweetOkCupid, the self-proclaimed “best dating site on Earth”, is a mostly free dating site that, while completely legitimate for people who are seriously interested in dating, is also filled with people looking for threesomes, married browsers looking for sex on the side, or, occasionally, Nigerian princes who want to give you money.  I had a profile on there at one point and ended up going out with a few people as a result of it.  As far as free dating sites go, OkCupid made me pretty happy, until August 30th.

On the morning of August 30th, I awoke to several emails from OkCupid, all sent to the email address I have associated with this site (my first name at my last name dot com). The first email, sent at 12:55 AM, welcomed me to OkCupid and thanked me for creating an OkCupid dating profile.  Needless to say, I was a bit alarmed, since unless I was sleep dating, there was no way for me to have created any type of profile at 12:55 AM that night.  And I most likely wouldn’t have chosen this username, either:

Welcome email from OkCupid

I clicked the “Sign in Now” button, which allowed me to sign in to OkCupid without entering any password whatsoever.  Apparently, the link in this email could be forwarded to anyone, and they would be able to sign in.  I viewed my OkCupid profile that I had apparently created at 12:55 AM, and this is what I saw (click the thumbnail to view the full version):

Fake OkCupid ProfileMy first inclination was annoyance, followed by disappointment.  I get emails constantly from people who just have an overreaching need to tell me that I am absolutely not funny and then they present a treatise supporting their viewpoint.  While I’m usually flattered that someone would be so obsessed with my unfunniness that they would do nothing but think about me all the time, I usually just feel pity.  Is this the best that they could do?  I expect more from my stalkers.

The malicious intent behind this fake OkCupid profile, however, was palpable, as evidenced from the following lines:

“I’m not looking for love, just someone to live out my rape fantasies.”

“I really am a freak. I hope that’s okay with you.”

Those two on their own are a little disturbing, but pale compare to what was provided for the answer to “You should message me if . . .”

“You’re just looking for something physical and happen to be close by. I’m looking for someone to fulfill my rape fantasy. I want an aggressive man to just break into my house and go at it. . . Address is: 407 Silver Oak Ln; Altamonte Springs, FL 32701″

That’s my real address.  Unlike my previous address, which I posted publicly as part of my Halloween party invitation, this one was not public.  If you were a friend on Facebook, it was available to you, but that’s it.  It’s public now, though, thanks to OkCupid.

Someone put my real address, with my photo, in a dating profile on OkCupid, using my real email address, and invited people to come rape me.  Oh, and they actually sent out messages to 24 different men as well:

Fake OkCupid messagesRealistically, I’m not worried in any way about someone breaking into my home to rape me.  But what if this was done to someone other than me?  What if someone had done this exact same thing to a female friend?  To your sister?  To your wife or mother?

I contacted OkCupid twice through their contact form, asking for the IP address of the person who created this fake profile, and requesting someone from OkCupid to contact me immediately.  That was a week ago.

I sent out the tweet mentioned above, asking OkCupid how it’s possible that they have it set up so that anyone can make a profile for an email address WITHOUT VERIFICATION! (Go ahead, try it.  I made a test OkCupid profile using a throwaway email account I had, and other than confirming my email address on the form, there was no verification required.)  That tweet was re-tweeted 40-50 times at least.

I have gotten no reply from OkCupid.  Not an apology, not even an acknowledgment.  Not a word.

OkCupid, I expect a response.  I want the IP address of the person who did this.  I would also like to know why you can create profiles without email verification, why you allow profiles to be published sharing private information such as someone’s address without any oversight, and what part of your business plan supports rape.  I’m pretty sure that I have an extremely actionable case right here, and unless I get a response that I consider, at my own discretion, to be acceptable, this could get extremely ugly. Ball’s in your court.

If you’re NOT from OkCupid and you’re reading this post, please share it.  Stumble it, post it on Twitter, mentioning @okcupid (or RT this tweet), share it on FB, Digg it.  I want this post to catch the eye of the company that has decided that it has no problem with what transpired on August 30th.

Edited (9/5/11 9:14 AM EST):

A few points of clarification, based on emails and comments I’ve received:

  1. Email verification would not have prevented this from happening.  I’m fully aware of this, but this is another issue that should be addressed.  Would you want someone creating a profile using your email address, even if it gave you control over it?  It’s just another invasion of privacy and poor management on the part of OkCupid.
  2. Every dating site I’ve used over the last two years does a profile check before they allow publishing of information to ensure that private information is not posted.  Even if OkCupid set up a good search string through their profiles, they could flag profiles for a human to review.
  3. Anything that sheds light on issues like this, that could be a serious and legitimate threat to the well-being of someone else, is a good thing.  I’m fine, and I’m not worried about getting raped in the middle of the night, but I’m not everyone.

UPDATED: 9/5/11 2:41 PM EST

When I returned from lunch, I had this reply from OkCupid:

Hi Adam,

My name is Alice, and I’m the customer service rep for OkCupid. I’m so sorry that you have not gotten a reply about your issue before now, and I hope I can help.

First- the account in question, gayasssfuck, was completely removed today, and the IP it was created from has been blocked from OkCupid. We can’t give you the specific IP address, but if you do decide to file a police report, we would be happy to cooperate with law enforcement.

Second- we absolutely do not condone sharing any private information on a profile, including addresses or email addresses. We do remove any profiles that share this information, as well as profiles that are obviously fakes as this one was, especially when they contain references to rape. That is absolutely unacceptable for OkCupid. However, our company is a lot smaller than you may realize, and we do not have the resources to hand-check every profile before it goes live. We rely on a flagging system, where users flag an inappropriate photo or profile, and then it gets reviewed by us for removal. It appears that this profile was not flagged by anyone, and we missed your emails, so it unfortunately flew under our radar. I sincerely apologize for this.

Again, I’m sorry we didn’t catch this sooner, and please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Alice

I think it would be a safe assumption that the sole reason for this reply, a week after the fact, was the overwhelming response on Twitter and other locations.  I’m not sure what my reply will be to this email, yet, because it’s still a poor response that doesn’t really address anything, but I think that filing a police report may be the next step, if only to get the IP address of the person who did it.

249 thoughts on “Where’s my reply, @OkCupid? (Prelude to a lawsuit)”

  1. I signed up with them a year ago and have met 2 really nice men on the site- one I’m currently dating and one I’m just friends with — but what you experienced is just WRONG! I’d go forth – not a good situation – especially if you were a woman – which ahem by the way I am…..would scare the fuck outta me.

  2. I was shocked when I saw your tweet about this and continue to be amazed that, first, someone would do this to anyone and, second, that OK Cupid would let it happen.

    I kind of hope they don’t answer you so you can sue them and see what can of change you can make happen.

    1. @Maura, every other dating site has a profile review period before it’s published for reasons like this. I’m not sure why they think they’re exempt. Hopefully someone doesn’t have to actually get raped first before they change it.

      1. @Avitable, Because OKC doesn’t cost money. That profile review is mainly to prevent you from contacting others without paying (by listing your email, screennames, etc), NOT for your safety.

        1. @Whatever, really? That’s crazy. So, kids, everyone stay away from the dating websites that are free!
          MY friend told me she went to a ‘free’ dating website, and met a “nice” guy who then said he’d been REJECTED from match.com……..byebye!

  3. Wow! That is awful. How does doing something like that even occur to someone? Should you be contacting the police? Maybe they could get the site to respond with the info. This is terrifying on so many levels. I’ll definitely share the link to your post.

      1. I was in college and he was a major douchenozzle. It was a run of the mill, fetishist posting on a dating site. I didn’t have to try hard. No personal details, just checked all of the boxes. I heard through the grapevine that he never suspected me. I’m that good.

  4. I’m a real lawyer. But not your lawyer. And what I am about to suggest is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between us (ethical rules require me to make this clear).

    That said, write a spoliation letter to OKCupid. This will confirm their legal obligation to retain all records that might reflect the IP address of this person.

    If you would like further information, please let me know.

    Attorney Erin

      1. @Avitable,

        Also, filing the police report won’t get you the IP address. They’ll talk to the police about it, but you won’t receive it. (Been through this before with clients.) However, I would be happy to talk with you about legal mechanisms to get it. It is possible.

        If you are interested in learning how to get the info, please contact me on Twitter at @LegallyErin. I can provide my contact info from there.

        Good luck.

          1. @Avitable,

            No. Look at it from their perspective. You might take that info and go do something crazy to that person. They’re not going to take a chance on being responsible for something like that. Do the police report. It is necessary (believe me). If you have not yet, do it now. I suggest you contact me directly to discuss.

  5. Wow.. just.. wow. I’m pissed FOR you, quite honestly. You might not be, but damn- what is wrong with people? I could have laughed at the general “Gay Adam” profile (And I did- because I could totally see the freak thing being true- and I mean, really- couldn’t they have played on your ‘bear’ qualities? I know most of the gay men I know love their big hairy bears)…… until they invited guys to ass rape you and gave your REAL freaking address?!?! That’s a really fucked up line to cross, and that’s going way past a good joke into revenge territory. I believe you done pissed someone off good, boy. ;-)
    But, in all seriousness- this disturbs me. And people suck.

  6. I’m sharing this post. As a fellow human being, I’m so not ok with this. It’s disgusting. I really don’t care if people think you are funnier than Bill Cosby or the most offensive turd on the planet, there is absolutely no excuse for something like this. If someone hates you, they can ignore you. I spent 14 years ignoring my little sister because I hated her so much when we were kids – and we lived in the same freaking house. So, I know it’s possible to ignore people who piss you off.

    Seriously though, OKCupid needs to step it up. I know all of my friends who use dating sites will be very interested in this post.

    Glad no one tried to break into your house though.

  7. Have you checked consumerist.com for any way to get ahold of a person instead of e-mailing? I’d totally send this whole post to consumerist – see if anyone else had gone through this.

  8. This is serious. There was a horrifying case like this with Craigslist. A woman’s ex posted an ad about a rape fantasy, and she was actually very brutaly raped. OK Cupid is putrid for leaving this unresolved.

  9. This is completely fucked up and wrong. I so wouldn’t give them any more chances to reply to you, they’ve had a week. Just file a lawsuit against them and make a police report to your local PD. Then make a point of contacting the FBI cyber crime unit.

    Dude, so sorry this happened to you. Some people are just screwed up in the head. Personally I think you’re funny as hell, and you so do not deserve fucked up shit like this.

  10. I’m horrified that anyone would post that type of profile and then your real address – that is just beyond contemptable. I don’t care what you’ve done to anybody or how pissed off someone is with you that is not okay in anyone’s world.

    Shared on Facebook to try and get OkCupid to pay attention.

  11. It should be noted, that even without email verification, they could have posted that very same profile and even sent out all those messages. The only difference would be the fact that at least this way, you had the power to take it down.

    Allowing someone to create an account without verifying an email address isn’t the problem, but some more heuristic oversight of new profiles and proper response times on their contact form would definitely help.

  12. haha this is actually quiet funny.

    Obviously not having any experience in running a website the size of OKCupid you have no idea what it entails.

    Will you be advocating that Twitter should check each tweet next before it’s made public?

      1. @Avitable, I’m sure if someone tried hard enough they’d manage to get a profile like that up on all the other sites too.

        If someone has a personal vendetta against someone else there are plenty of avenues for attack. OkCupiud here was just a vehicle in that attack. It could just as well have been a blog comment on a website (like this one that is not moderated) that included the personal details and fantasy requirements.

          1. @Avitable, It all sounds a little strange.. Are you sure you didn’t put up the profile yourself just to get publicity for your website here?

      1. @Lynn, I don’t know how informed you are in the sexual preferences or fantasies of the masses however I do know that rape fantasies are a very common with a lot of people.

        Why would OKCupid automatically ban people for having these fantasies when they are in fact very normal.

        Also the fact that these fantasies would make people like you judgmental they are actually quite suited to being posted on dating websites as there is a certain degree of anonymity.

        If you saw this on the Internet you could simply ignore it, if a guy said it to you in the bar you’d probably throw your drink all over him and give him a wallop.

        1. @Jack, someone having rape fantasies is perhaps uncommon enough that a review is not out of the question. Did I say BAN? No, I said flag for review. Do you find this fake posting credible as describing a rape fantasy? I can think of a few other words worth a review: pedophilia, necrophilia, or bestiality, NAMBLA.

          Probably the last word one could use to describe me is judgemental. But feel free.

          1. @Lynn,

            “Do you find this fake posting credible as describing a rape fantasy?”

            Of course not, it was obviously not a real profile. I actually find it very funny, as I’m sure many others do also.

            All I was saying is that it is not OKCupid’s fault that this happened. Rather than venting openly about what has happened here @Avitable should have sought legal advice or indeed contacted the police. OkCupid would be breaking the law by providing him with the IP address of whoever did this. I’m sure however if they were approached in the correct manner, by law enforcement or by a solicitor with a court order they would have no problem in disclosing the details legally.

          2. @Jack, I think the issue here is that @avitable has contacted OKCupid and they have not responded to him at all. It’s pretty shitty that after 1 week of this viralling on the internet and @OKCUpid’s mentions going off the scale at the amount of messages they are getting, PLUS the fact that several people have contacted a few of the directorates directly on twitter and no one at OKCupid has responded and agreed to investigate.

          3. @Becca_Masters, Maybe they see the humorous side of it :-)

            It could be also that nobody works there, and that it’s just one big automated system in place there.

          4. @Jack, why is it humorous? WHat if it were cyberbullying of a 10 year old girl? Is that funny to you too? If it is you need very serious help. Fuck off.

  13. That’s my real address. Unlike my previous address, which I posted publicly as part of my Halloween party invitation, this one was not public. If you were a friend on Facebook, it was available to you, but that’s it. It’s public now, though, thanks to OkCupid.

    The part I do not get: Where did the troll get this address from?

    Admittedly, it is an ugly thing to create the rape “invitation”, and it is probably more effective than simple creating a website (plus slightly more anonymous), which could have been done without the help of OKCupid, but the really dangerous part is mentioning the address. How did the troll manage to get that?

    The part about using your e-mail address is rather interesting, making it look more like a stupid prank – it would be even worse if some other e-mail address would be used, because then you would not even know about it, right?

    Now please understand: I am not pushing some of the blame on you for having given out your address – hell, I am writing from a country where the government mandates that you publish your address on your website. As an IT guy, I am just forming an opinion about which part of personal data deserves what level of protection.

      1. @Mike, of course you can do that. I was wondering whether there was any technical way to get the address from OKCupid or any affiliated service; for example some OKCupid-Facebook connecting API that extends your circle of friends in an unexpected way or a stupidly built password reminder service.

        If it was not like that, I do not see any technical fault on OKCupid’s side. A legal one, maybe, though that depends on the laws as case would fall under.

    1. @Tierlieb, I had assumed that they may have been friends with me on Facebook, but they could have done a whois search too, as Mike pointed out.

      Chances are that I would have known about the profile even without my email address because of the Google alerts that I have set up, but you’re right – it’s an interesting choice to have my own email address used.

      I think that OkCupid needs to institute a basic profile check before publishing a profile. As it is now, it’s negligent on their part.

  14. While I sympathize with your predicament, I have to admit that I laughed hard at the unveiling of the username.

    Match.com bought OKCupid, which means they’ve gone full-retard. Seriously, Match.com was nothing but IIS server errors, and sub-literate support emails from offshored departments. I dropped them in favor of OKCupid, then they bought OKC. I was beginning to think that the universe (or just Match.com, really) had it in for me personally, but your situation allows me to breathe a sigh of relief that the assholery is universally suffered.

    (Gratuitous link to the OKC blog post that Match.com doesn’t want you to see)

    1. @Jeff, It’s cool to hate on “big business”, but, no, OKC was shit from the get go. It was made by a few guys from The Spark, and they always considered it a fucking joke from the beginning. They never wanted to build a serious service, and everything about it was loaded with juvenile frat boy humor

      1. @Whatever, I don’t care whether Match.com is “big business” or small, the fact is that they are incompetent. Intermittent server errors (with the default error page, they weren’t even clever enough to make custom error pages), misspellings (“messenge” is not a word), and support staff that couldn’t understand basic English sentences. I don’t know whether OKC’s founders were frat boys, but the OkTrends blog certainly showed intelligence, and their questionnaire system gave far more meaningful match information than did Match.com’s “Thunderstorms: turn on/turn off”.

      1. @Avitable, I met a nice gold-digger off Match.com. I met several nice women via OKC, but never clicked. I’ve found it much more effective to simply get out and meet people in real life, and there’s none of the non-response-frustration as described in the banned OkTrends blog post.

        1. @Jeff, @Avitable, I met my husband on Match.com UK site. I found it to be ok (there were a few weirdos) but overall it was pretty ok. I never experienced what you did though, maybe it’s down to the management of the site?

          1. @Becca_Masters, glad to hear of your success on the site. However, as explained in the OkTrends post I keep mentioning, Match.com is a completely different experience for women versus men. Basically, it’s a great way for women to meet men, and a lousy place for men to meet women.

            I don’t think I’ve used Match since around 2007, but given that I saw absolutely zero progress on the many bugs I reported, I don’t have much faith that they’ve improved since then.

  15. > I’m pretty sure that I have an extremely actionable case right here

    Based on what? Cite the relevant caselaw

    Nobody’s scared of your armchair lawyer shit, asshole. You have a case against the guy who harassed you. Against OK Cupid you have jack shit.

  16. That they used your email address is the good part. They left you control of the account, and you got immediate notice of what was going on. Email verification wouldn’t have made this any better.

    I can see how many web apps nowadays want to make user registration easier by skipping the email verification hassle. How is this catastrophic?

    1. @Davide, I agree that it made it easier because then I was in control of the account, but I think that for a site like this, email verification is key. The bigger issue, of course, is the fact that they have no profile review whatsoever.

      1. @Avitable, not having profile review is their issue. It makes the service less attractive to legit users, who may prefer a paid site for that reason. It’s not a legal issue, like it isn’t for all the sites out there which allow user contents.

        Remember though that the offense was posting your address (and a couple other things, I’m not familiar with US law), and there’s not much that you could have done to avoid it, other than not making it known to untrusted people online.

        I support the distrust towards OKC only as long as it is clear that it is not less untrustworthy than any other public website.

        You may want to post something about your ideas on email verification, I don’t get the big issue. I’m launching a web/mobile service and am facing the same choice.

        1. @Davide, they could have had a search in place for the word “rape”, to start, and had human review of profiles with that word. I think that if a site is going to hold itself out as a place that is safe for women to meet men to date, and for anyone to meet anyone to date, they have a minimal level of responsibility to actually try to be safe.

          I think that email verification is absolutely necessary – would you want to create a profile on a site just to find out that someone else used your email address? That’s the online equivalent of someone using your home address to send all their bills to.

          1. @Avitable, the search for the “rape” word on that site gave me like 660 profiles and 4700 journal posts. Not saying it’s beyond possibility, but monitoring all “bad words” wouldn’t be worth the effort. By the way, they already have volounteers for monitoring. Again, as a user you may or may not like it.

            If you already have the email taken (why should it be so? By mistake, or on purpose, and what purpose?) you can reclaim the other account. And eventually change the password or shut it down. An inconvenience, to be sure, but I see no necessity of verification.

          2. @Davide, because it also prevents people from using fake email addresses. Even if they use a throwaway account, it’s a little due diligence. And setting up advanced search heuristics to flag a number of posts and have them reviewed should be SOP.

          3. @Avitable, the real address requirement can already be easily circumvented, that’s not a reason for verified email. Like I said I’m facing the very same decision. What kind of problem do you think I’d encounter if my service didn’t require an email confirmation?

            Heuristics: ok, maybe not hard. Then again, the word “rape” may have not been considered because it’s commonly used in a humorous setting. Or it was going to be considered, but not in such a short time. If you want better (quicker and thorougher) reviewing you should be ready to pay for it. At least until there is no competitor free dating site with both a working business model and monitoring system. :D

          4. @Davide, any site, dating or not, that considers ‘rape’ to be an acceptable word because it can be ‘humorous’ (I think not) is to be avoided at all costs.

  17. I don’t understand – how would email verification have improved matters? This person could have just used a throwaway email, with exactly the same result except that you would not have known about it for a while longer.

    1. @blorg, it’s just another issue with OkCupid – it’s not the prevailing concern, but the fact that someone could use your email address to create a profile also means that you would be blocked from using it yourself.

  18. While that profile is lame and should be swiftly deleted, I do not think that e-mail verification has anything to do with the issue.

    Also you can not expect to get the IP address of the scumbag who created the account. I admit that I’m not too familiar with US law, but in europe it would be a bigger offense to give out that IP address than to allow the fake profile to exist for an extended period.

  19. Oh my god, I am speechless. No it’s not funny and it requires a lawsuit. Oh my god.
    I beg to differ on the IP comment before me by Kaur Kuut. In Europe it is private information, including your home address, that should never be disclosed without your permission, let alone to invite people to come rape you. I cannot even believe the words as I am typing them. :( Hope you get this fixed asap, am RT-ing and letting all my friends know.

  20. I agree with others that while deplorable, they could have done all this without the “courtesy” of using your real email address, and you would never know that they posted that account. (Of course, however, they did that so you’d know they did it.)

    Unfortunately, I can’t see how to police such a service and maintain it as a free one. Like others have mentioned, the sites with reviewed profiles (like the one I met my wife on) are paid services, so they have the financial backing to support the review process.

    I do, however, believe that your request for the IP of the account creator is reasonable and actionable if not followed.

    1. @SFD, it’s a free site, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t earn income – the ads on the site are ridiculous and I’m sure that they sell email addresses to advertisers as well. I think that with a little programming to search and flag anything that might be an address or phone number, the manpower wouldn’t be that high.

  21. Oh hon… I am so very sorry. When you originally posted about this — I couldn’t open the photo all the way… I didn’t realize that they had posted your address and what they had said. This is awful and scary. I hope that you have contacted the police and made them aware of this locally. Sending you lots of hugs. :(

  22. With a spiteful, vindictive ex-husband out there, I am now terrified he could do this to me. Hopefully he won’t read this.
    Stay safe and do what you need to do to resolve this!

  23. Other than confirmIng email addresses, your other expectations for the company seem unreasonable. (By the way, if they did do that, you’d have no idea this profile existed.). You want OKCupid to police profiles to make sure no one includes their address? What??? Should Twitter do that? Must you do that, if I put my address in this comment?

    Of course, not replying to you is stupid.

      1. @Avitable Again, do you think Twitter or your own site should do this, or just dating sites? That would cost (you) money, you realize.

        And whether such vetting is a good idea or not, failure to do so does not strike me as at all actionable. Nothing you mentioned does, sorry, since OKCupid almost certainly qualifies as a common carrier. Maybe being slow to delete the profile in response to your take-down notice is actionable. You did send a take-down notice, right? Asking them to give you the offender’s IP is just silly, now =that= would be actionable.

        Note, though, like you, I Am Not A Lawyer.

        1. @johndburger, no, Twitter, shouldn’t do it, but they also have a policy in place to remove tweets and close accounts very quickly if need be. I think that it is actionable when it’s reasonable and simple to use basic methods to protect your users. It might reach a threshhold of gross negligence. I may not practice law, but I am a lawyer. :)

  24. That was what shocked me the most, too. I couldn’t believe your address was on it! But I must have missed the “come and rape me” line. I guess I stopped reading it too soon.

    I am off to tweet this shit and hope it helps to garner some type of action from them.

  25. What upsets me the most about this is that you’re not getting an answer. All I can think is “What if this happened to my neighbor’s daughter who’s in 9th grade? Or, what if this happened to MY daughter?” They’re not answering you because you’re a guy and they figure “He can take care of himself. It’s just a joke.” But, seriously? What if this happened to a teen girl or boy? It’s not right. Not at all. I’m sorry this happened to you, hon. It’s a joke, but it’s in poor taste and OKCupid needs to respond.

    1. @Coal Miner’s Granddaughter, it might have been a joke, but it was definitely a malicious one, and I can only imagine what would have happened if I was a woman, not a man, who had this profile created – she would have been at serious risk.

    2. @Coal Miner’s Granddaughter, “What if this happened to my daughter?” Those words are running through my head as I read the post…

      How awful. I hope that all of this is resolved soon, and steps are put into to place to prevent it from happening to you or anyone else again.

  26. Wow. I saw your tweets about it and was horrified then. But now? Now I’m beyond horrified and scared for OTHERS (and you, too) who may have had this happen to them. I’m like you, though, I would have thought better of your stalkers. I would think they would be classier than this. Go get em, man!

  27. Have you considered contacting your local FBI office? I work in the U.S. Attorney’s office and we have a section devoted to Internet fraud and crimes, as does the FBI. This troll needs to have the feds scare the shit out of him. Sorry this happened to you!

      1. @Avitable,

        I’m with everybody else. Report it to the police. If he did it to you, who else has this person does this to. You have a large audience whereas the next person may not. Or he may do this is a woman. As a commenter stated above with Craigslist, that women was almost killed and was brutally raped. After she was brought to the hospital, men were still showing up to rape her like the craigslist ad ask for.

      2. @Avitable, dude really—your issue IS with whomever did this! The OK folks are asleep obviously, but this could have been Facebook or anything….this psycho is the problem! Watch out!!! ~___~

  28. While this entire thing is disturbing, one of the saddest parts is that it was obviously done by someone who knows you well enough to have your home address. Some people have some horrible issues.

    I hope you get some sort of resolution from OKCupid soon!

  29. Email verification or not, the content is absurd, and I certainly can’t believe there is any website out there, free or not, that thinks it’s ok to 1. post about rape 2. post an actual address or 3. not have a system in place to get rid of spam type profiles. Poor business practices, all in all.

    I’m sorry someone did this to you, and I agree – if this were a woman, the outrage would be massive. :(

  30. Just read this, at first I thought well thats f*$#ed up but kind of funny in a way. Then you brought up a good point what if it had been a women, and I changed my mind this is actually pretty serious.
    While I agree they (OkCupid, publicly available social media in general) should run a check to make sure personal information isn’t available in a profile, etc. I would like to point out that your personal information is also available through whois (http://whois.domaintools.com/avitable.com), so anybody who knows this sites address could easily find out this information.

      1. @Avitable, Yes I understand, I didn’t mean it like that. I should have separated and explained better what I meant.

        In the post you said that you personal info was “only available to your facebook friends”; in my experience spammers, etc. have retrieved my personal info from whois and sent rather convincing emails to me.

        Anyway just trying to point out that people in general have to be careful what personal information is posted online about them (that is under their control). But this is a much more serious issue that should have been addressed and prevented when the OkCupid site was built rather than waiting for something like this or by the looks they are waiting for something worse to happen before addressing this issue.

  31. Sympathies on the position in which you find yourself; I apologise for using a fake name (although you have my genuine email). This is why:

    My email address is myfirstname.mylastname@gmail.com and the result is that swarms of not very bright Internet users believe that they own my email address. Gmail makes this word by ignoring the “.” between the names so I get all mail for people who share my (quite common) names and are too stupid to realise that this isn’t their own address, regardless of whether they separate the names.

    And yes, I get lots of people creating accounts with my email address on all kinds of site, including dating. I wouldn’t mind, but I live in England and all the hot chicks that reply (!) are in the US.

  32. Holy shit. I can’t believe they haven’t gotten back to you.

    And you know, just because you’re a man doesn’t make it any more appalling or wrong that these rape jokes and threats are being made. Our culture has a tendency to downplay the possibility of men being raped or putting a stigma on it that prevents men from feeling like they can speak out or seek help. So for me, I don’t have to imagine that these threats are being made toward a woman. It’s appalling and POSSIBLE either way.

    Also, to whoever did this, because I’m sure you’re reading: Your rampant bigotry is far more appalling and tasteless than anything Adam’s ever put on the Internet. And that’s saying a lot.

  33. Wow. I’ve seen a lot of ugly on the internet, but this is just out of control. I’m sorry you are on the receiving end of this and I really hope that they contact you soon with an IP address and make changes so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

    What a small, sad person that must be behind this. I’m so sorry Adam.

  34. This whole thing is disturbing and completely not funny. It went way past prank and crossed firmly into cyberbullying. I don’t think the fact that you’re male makes it any less so than if you were female. Since OK Cupid has not responded in any way, nor have they put safeguards in place to prevent this from happening again, and maybe to some unsuspecting teenage girl, makes them just as culpable as the jackhole who did this in the first place. I hope you find out who did this.

  35. This seems like a Pretty big security flaw on OKCupid’s part. However, getting the ip address of the person who created the profile may prove worthless. Unless you have a court document requesting the person’s ISP to give you their identity, it’s unlikely you’ll ever find the guy through those means.

    As for allowing personal, private content to be published to a profile, unless they’ve made a precedent of doing so, I don’t believe OKCupid has any responsibility or duty to screen profile content.

    This is possibly legally actionable, but I doubt you will get much satisfaction if you do take them to court. I think the better solution (cheaper and more satisfying to you) is to try them in the court of the Internet. Continue to propagate your story on The Consumerist, Reddit, Digg, Twitter, etc, and you damage their reputation and credibility as much as their negligence has allowed this anonymous person to damage you.

    1. @Mr McBastard, I think they have a duty to offer a safe dating environment, as the numerous articles and tips on their site indicate. But the court of public opinion is exactly what I’m doing here, but I am confident that it’s legally actionable as well and would be satisfying to see it go to court.

  36. I had a technical issue with their site a while back that I had contacted them about, and, not surprisingly, never received a response to.

    The fact that you have not received an answer for this scenario that screams potential lawsuit, is unbelievable. I don’t even have words to describe how appalled I am at the way they’re not handling it.

    Good luck, and I hope you get your answers. Or at least a hefty settlement.

  37. I posted this to FB – not because I think that my friends will be able to make even a tiny dent in the internet, but because it’s truly scary to think about this happening to someone that can’t take care of themselves. Which is sort of a backhanded compliment to you, I know, but I’m not worried about your ability to beat off some dude intending harm. (heh. beat off.)
    I imagine that the person who did this to you is trolling the comments and laughing his/her head off. (Although I find it really hard to believe that a woman would post your real address which is somewhat stupid, no?) To that person I would like to say: Karma is only a bitch when you are.

  38. This is all just a ploy to up your traffic because no one reads your blog anymore, isn’t it?

    Shame on you, Adam.

    (I’m kidding – as I’m sure you know. I will eat this person alive if you can get me a name and address.)

    XOXO

  39. How any dating site can allow the word rape in any profile is beyond me. There has to ne an easy way to have profiles automatically scanned for key words. Their excuse that they aren’t a large company is horseshit.
    And the fact that they are protecting the IP address? Unacceptable.

  40. Awful. I’m glad you got some response, though I agree the delay is telling. I’m sorry you had to deal with this at all. And I agree 100%, I would be terrified if my real address was posted with any kind of threat, let alone one involving rape. (And you would be justified in being terrified as well, though I’m glad you’re not.)

  41. Paid dating sites will often review all profiles before sending them live.

    They look at photos to make sure they’re decent and within their ‘risque’ guidelines and they look over profiles.

    They’re basically searching for scammers, the obscene, and the obnoxious.

    Dating sites rely on three lines of defense against rogues.
    1. Automated review
    2. Manually reviewing profiles
    3. User flagging

    Free sites are more reliant on 2 and 3.

    Mark Brooks
    Online Personals Watch
    212-444-1636 / 020-8133-1835

  42. WOW! Just WOW. First of all, what kind of fucked up person does this to another human being? Whether previous friends, current friends or never even met before, why would someone do this? It’s mean. It’s disgusting and it makes the other person a slimy piece of shit in my eyes.

    Second, WTH is up with OKCupid? Holy crap talk about stupid business practices. I don’t get why they wouldn’t have already had some sort of filter up to stop shit like this from happening.

  43. she said they are a small company? Rubbish, as others have stated they are owned by by match.com who paid a reported $50 million so I’m sure they can pay some virtual assistants to monitor all new profiles and picture. They don’t have that many active users (most are inactive or have been deleted but still get suggested to users). I’ve seen what appear to be underaged girls post explict pictures on there before now. Thankfully rare but should never happen.

  44. Wow, Adam. I knew about this when it happened but clearly ok s but behind because I’ve been away. I’m sorry you have to deal with this bullshit. Meantime, keep your doors locked tight.

  45. Holy shit. So, it was someone who either knows you pretty well or researched you pretty thoroughly. I’d file the report. It might take an hour of your time. Although, I’d fully expect the dirty work to have been performed at a location that isn’t easily traced to one individual (i.e., a public place). Still, worth a try (and will make you feel better).

  46. File the report to get the IP address and learn the specifics on your perpetrator. The customer service reply seemed sincere and not boiler plate. The immediate issue was addressed and the typical method of resolution was stated.

  47. You cannot (by any legal means) get the IP from them. If you file a police report it will be released to the investigator, not you. Also, a address shouldn’t be listed on your whois info…

      1. @Avitable, yes but there is this thing called proxy registration (whois my domain, kodewurx.com). Your OP stated this information (your address) was private info, when in fact YOU made it public. That said, I’m with you when you said that they should do some email verification and pre-processing of post profiles to ensure words such as “rape” and “dick” aren’t in them (as there is no valid reason to have these words on a dating profile anyway) but this is no reason to follow suit because someone said a few bad words about you on the internet. Don’t let what others do affect you so much man, world’s to complicated for that.

        1. @Ron Elliott,

          “I’m with you when you said that they should do some email verification and pre-processing of post profiles to ensure words such as “rape” and “dick” aren’t in them (as there is no valid reason to have these words on a dating profile anyway)”

          Except that people actually *do* have rape fantasies and *are* looking to have them fulfilled. Look at OKC’s matching questions. They even have “Do you have Rape fantasies” and “Would you consider role playing a rape fantasy with a lover?” And people do answer in the afirmative, men and women both. Like most other people, these folks also aren’t going to just advertise their home addresses for obvious reasons.

          Avi’s problem is very clearly with the ass who made the fake profile first and foremost. OKC does need to have some better reviewing practices for sure, but they don’t need to flag or filter non-mainstream sex practices between consenting adults (in fact, they’d lose half their userbase if they started down that path)

  48. Good luck. My ex and I were both stalked online by who we are assuming was his ex before me. They posted fake ads on Craigslist with his real number soliciting gay sex. They created fake profiles, hacked into accounts (livejournal, MySpace, Facebook, and email accounts)
    Sent harassing emails to me (I was pregnant at the time and one email said they didn’t know how much stress was needed to cause a miscarriage, but they intended to find out), sent his parents fake suicide note emails. We got hundreds of harassing phone calls. And they signed him up for several magazines. Also, they used his bank account information. And this was just the beginning, I could go on and on about the hell we went through for well over 6 months. We contacted the police several times. We collected as much information as we could and took it the Louisville Metro Police’s fraud department since his identity was essentially stolen. And NOTHING was ever done. No one was ever caught, let alone prosecuted.

    So I really hope you have better luck than we did!

  49. OMG, stay safe, Adam. Keep your doors locked and your home security system on.
    This is serious crap. Having your home address displayed for all to see is very scary. I hope the person who did this gets what’s coming to him/her.
    *All* dating sites should have safeguards put in place to protect against situations such as this. This is unacceptable, and OKCupid needs to be made accountable.

  50. Gotta say that usually you rub me the wrong way. But a friend told me to check out this post — which I have shared on FB. Also Faiqa assures me that you’re really a cool dude. And Faiqa would never lie to me.

    Bottom line is that I signed up with OKC years ago and never had any problems. My latest prob with them is their new “Locals” thing. So I turned off the location crap on my phone. Because I got tired of getting notifications from dudes in my area who were looking for a casual sex hookup — or more precisely dudes who were signed on in a certain radius of my phone. This new feature seems to tell me where the site is going. And frankly it kind of scares me. Especially since when I first downloaded the app, it was not for this purpose.

    Actually I like to think of myself as inactive on the site. Funny thing is that once I removed all the text from my profile, I suddenly started getting a lot more responses. Men are funny that way.

    But I shared your post because it chilled me to the bone as a woman. I would hate for someone to do this to me. And just because you have a Y-chromosome does not make this kind of shit cool. I’m hoping that you’ve touched base with Erin and have found this idiot’s IP address.

  51. Yowsa…and I thought my internet blind date who showed up with “Mama’s Boy” tattooed on his arm was a horror story.

    I found this story in a very well-populated forum, sharing on my blog and my FB. I hope it helps. This could have happened to me or any of my friends, and while you’re not afraid, it makes my blood run cold.

  52. So sorry this happened to you, but hopefully your actions will prevent it from happening to anyone else. Thank you for sharing. Also, please file the police report, and I assume it is a law that OKCupid can’t share any IP addresses with anyone else but police.

  53. Yeah, I don’t think the police will give you the IP address either, but I still hope you go ahead with filing the report. There need to be some consequences for the actions that person took.

    As for the company, I think it’s pretty funny that she makes a point of saying they are just a little company. Well sorry, little or not, you still have a responsibility to your customers, and what happened to you and how easy it was to pull off is just unacceptable. I hope they take some steps to correct this.

  54. This is just childish. The thing that pisses me off the most is the posting of your address. The rest of it can be written off as the inept fumblings of someone who isn’t intelligent enough to formulate a real insult.

    Make the police report; they deserve it.

  55. Sounds like someone has the hots for you ;)

    On the serious side, that is so doubleplusungood. I hope you find out who it was that created that because this goes way beyond trying to be funny and beyond malicious. This sounds like a personal vendetta.

  56. Well, at least you finally got a reply out of them… but I agree that it wasn’t sufficient. This should not have happened, and their slow response is unacceptable.

    My question is, how can you file a police report when you have no information about the perpetrator? They should have given you the ISP. Chances are, it’s a library ISP anyway, but still.

  57. Knowing the IP address doesn’t mean you will find out who did it. Unfortunately, people who do things like that would likely be using an anonymous proxy server to create the account. Or they do it from internet cafes, schools, etc. But maybe they were stupid and left a trail behind.

  58. I guess I don’t get the distinction announced by “while/also” here: “OkCupid, the self-proclaimed “best dating site on Earth”, is a mostly free dating site that, while completely legitimate for people who are seriously interested in dating, is also filled with people looking for threesomes, married browsers looking for sex on the side, or, occasionally, Nigerian princes who want to give you money.”

    I mean, if you’re a Puritan I could see how those latter things are somehow not your definition of “dating,” but you might want to join the 21st century.

  59. I am WAY late to the party on this one, but WTF OkCupid?!?! This is just so wrong. I cannot believe that their response is that they’re too small to have a little control over the profiles posted on their website. Um… it’s called email verification, it’s not that hard. Obviously, since EVERY OTHER SITE ANYWHERE uses it. Ugh.

  60. A similar thing happened to me. I signed on to my OKC profile one day to find that someone had rewritten my profile to say that I “just want to find someone to fuck.” The language was milder and no personal information had been added, but I AM a young female, and yeah, it felt awful. I changed my password and have not had problems since, but I also failed to get a response from OKC, probably because I didn’t launch a media campaign about it. And obviously they have not done anything to beef up their security procedures since then. If you’re looking to make this a class action thing I’d be happy to sign on.

    1. @RCG,
      Cupid IS a free site and if they answered each complaint they would need a huge staff
      Somwhere there must be an acknowledgement that you signed a realease from any such action?
      The www is a dangerous place
      I lost money from my bank account , which was recovered due to the diligence of my bank
      Since then I bought Kaspersky anti virus which is very good, only since then have all the 5 puters in the hosue satyed up and running
      Sueing does not fix the world, there is too much of it
      Sympathies tho

  61. We live in a very sick world
    And some of the response you have here , seems condone
    I do sympathise
    Stumbled upon this whilst trying solve an issue with my ISP address being blocked
    I f you or anyone can pass on the contact address of Dear Alice , then maybe I can find out why
    best rgds

  62. I have had a similar problem with Identity Theft on OkCupid.com. Someone, who apparently knows me very well, has stolen my photos off of Facebook and set up an imposter account with this dating website, using one of my old usernames from other social networks. They are pretending to me so that they can talk to guys, using my photos. It’s malicious and cruel. I’m actually a married woman, so I do not feel as if I belong on this site, however this person has set my relationship status to ‘Single.’ I have filed a police report and have yet to hear back from OkCupid.com after four replies and four days ago. I believe I know who has set this up, because based on this account’s writing style, it seems to point fingers in one direction. How am I to have this account deleted if OkCupid will not respond to me?

  63. I think you should sue them just for having to put up with their lackadaisical disregard towards concern. Maybe it will straighten their self-important, pompous, attitudes enough to show their users some fucking respect…
    Poor/non-existent customer service should call for a shut down in any business, period.

  64. I went through 2600 or so questions. For some of them I imagined I was actually talking to someone on the other side and talking as if I was talking to a guy. If you sign up you can see them as we start talking and we’re having a “conversation” the conversation becomes weirder and weirder and it’s very interesting to watch. The funny thing about it is that you can see that I begin not to love myself in their chart of who I am and what I feel as the computer (imaginary guy) gets more and more sick with their requests for being sexually abused (ex. If You partner needs to be slapped in the face to orgasm, do you comply, followed with if you are in a shared home or apartment and you hear this violence from another family member what do you do.) and asking me to allow sexual abuse in my life. Or allowing my family to participate in nudity and bring my family into nudist colonies because it will “please” my partner.

    Of the questions that I answered about 40% of them reflected pornography which I will not consume or participate in. I am very honest and if you google archive it, you can see how my profile changes over time. The names and incidents are real and true.

    Of that 40% pornography, 20% of it is violent and 10% is child sexual abuse. They have questions on there that I absolutely needed to skip because the potential answers are all supporting child sexual abuse (a-good and doesn’t hurt kids, b-good and hurts kids, c-kids want to get hurt d-kids ask to be abused). I had to say they were irrelevant which they AREN’T. They are exceptionally relevant in this world because sexual integrity and financial integrity and the lack of both are very very present.

    I have since asked them to remove my profile and my user name.

    Please do look it up if you would like because it’s very important that people who do not accept sexual abuse and financial abuse in their lives speak up and are aware of how it spreads.

  65. I will admit I did find the profile hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing. I am willing to admit that. Here are some things I noticed:

    1) Why would you post a picture and write your address again? You could have exlcuded both your profile picture and address. We all believe what happened to you.
    2) It goes to show what kind of people use this website, because none of them flagged it as being inappropriate. Maybe they don’t take the site seriously.

    1. @Jon Doe, oh, it was funny, absolutely! I kept the picture because my photo and name are public information – my photo is all over the site. The address is actually also public – I’ve had a public address for some time now (It’s in my “about” page at http://www.avitable.com/about-me/). It was more the message and the fact that if I had been a woman who wanted privacy, the result would have been the same.

      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  66. The same thing is happening to me I didnt even know about okcupid till today when my friend had a profile an texted me an said you have an okcupid profile? An then when I said no he began to send me the profile basics this women or man made a profile uses my images an some of my basic information from other sites an I wouldn’t be such a bother if whoever this person is hadn’t talked like some kind of creeped whore needless to say I had to create a real account an flag this person but it’s the weekend so I havent heard anything from okcupid yet but if they refuse to do anything I will contact an attorney I don’t want men walking up to me in public thinking I’m that girl cause I’m not so if you have an okcupid profile report Tina122 cause she’s using old pictures of me an her/his profile is disgusting an I’m appalled by all of this.

    1. PLEASE sue this terrible company. This same thing is happening to a good friend of mine. We have been contacting them for weeks and have not heard ANYTHING.

  67. I have had enough of waking up to emails from dating services that I supposedly joined. And I very well could not of being I was sleeping. I like to know where the VERFICATION is being asked about when someone joins these sites. I have has a security issue privacy issue that has been since Feb 2012. This man has been blocked ftom my cell and FB. I will make this long story short however, the actions and behavior are pathetic and criminal. I have had PGH Comouter Crime Unit Involved and two days ago it was a definite match to all my problems headaches time wasted regarding my email my cell and is simply amazing how apple doesn’t protect your ID with all they have to offer it is sooo easy to get into apps but also even if you have not one app very easy to tap into the ICloud. They do nothing at all to protect your privacy. And the issues the facts they are before me the websites I supposedly joined and DID NOT AND OKCUPID IS ONE OF MANY. I DEMAND MY NAME BE TAKEN OFF OF YOUR SITE. DETECTIVE JORDAN WILL BE CONTACTING YOU TO SEE IF MY REQUEST IS GRANTED REMOVING ME FROM THIS SITE IT BEST BE WITHIN 48 HOURS. WHERE DOES OKCUPID’S VERFICATION PROCESS FIT IN WITH THIS SITE? Remove me immediately. The things that this man has done and I know I’m not the first victim sad to say not the last I must say I look forward to watching him pay for crimes and finally putting an end to this nightmare! I SUGGEST YOU BLOCK THE IP ASSOCIATED WITH SIGNING ME UP WITHOUT APPROVAL & AUTHORIZATION.

  68. HELP ME!! This same sort of scenario is happening to a good friend of mine! It is not to the extent of yours, but none the less, there is a scammer posing to be a friend of mine. He is talking openly about drug usage and loose sexual practices – none of which is true. I have contacted okcupid so many times I have lost count and sure enough, NO RESPONSE.

  69. I need some major help contacting someone at OK Cupid!! I have yet to get a response. The police told me that they can not help me unless I myself find out who this person is. OK Cupid are the only people who can get me an IP address. Here is my situation right now…

    Apr 5, 2013 – 3:07pm
    Message from Mark7829
    I like how you say you’re not looking for a hookup, but every picture is you showing tits. And how you say you’re an intelligent lady, but you’re 30, and have no degree.

    Woman logic.

    Message from Mark7829
    And you sure as hell can cover your boobs. Tone down the makeup, too. You look like a clown.

    “Been through a lot in my life” Tell me something girls DON’T usually say?

    Apr 5, 2013 – 3:27pm
    Message from Mark7829
    I’ll find someone with an education, thanks.

    Apr 5, 2013 – 3:30pm
    Message from Mark7829
    Oh, and thanks for leaching off the government with my tax money, since you’re too lazy to get on a fucking treadmill.

    Apr 5, 2013 – 3:36pm
    Message from Mark7829
    sorry, i can’t hear anything over how fat you are.

    Apr 5, 2013 – 3:37pm
    Message from Mark7829
    oh, and by the way. after reviewing your profile a bit more, I’ve decided that

    Your eyes are too far apart. Nose is definitely crooked. The shape of your face is not aesthetically pleasing at all. You look like a 3/10 with make up in this photo. I don’t even want to imagine what you look like without make up. I actually just threw up in my mouth, just thinking about it.

    Your head is too big (although that may be, because of your giraffe neck posture). As for your hair, lol. Seriously, do something. You look like a horse.

    Stare at your face for more than 5 seconds, and you will see how ugly you are. The eyes which are too far apart is what ruins/damages an already ugly face even further. Unfortunately for you, that can’t be surgically fixed, lol.

    You arms are way too long. lol at how they hang by your sides. Kind of reminds me of lurch. As for your tits, we all know there is extra padding there. Don’t even let me start on your pale complexion. It only works if you look hot. Unfortunately, you do not look hot. Its hard to sum up a creature like you in one word. ‘UGLY’ would be unfair, since it doesn’t reflect how repulsive you look. GROTESQUE is stretching it. But somewhere in between, is where you would be, on the scale of an average man.

    I’m sorry if my words seem a little harsh. Just so you know, I sugar coated this post as much as possible.

    Have a nice day.

    Apr 7, 2013 – 12:22pm
    Message from Mark7829
    Hmmm…121 S 6th St
    Delavan, is that right?

    Apr 7, 2013 – 12:27pm
    Message from Mark7829
    hmmmm. No Doubt concert a few years ago….Obama supporter…I wonder what else I can find.

    Apr 7, 2013 – 12:32pm
    Message from Mark7829
    oh, silly me. you’re on 7th and Mitchell.

    Apr 7, 2013 – 2:42pm
    Message from Mark7829
    you are built like a refrigerator

    http://i45.tinypic.com/2zgsn46.png

    Apr 7, 2013 – 2:58pm
    Message from Mark7829
    okay, ill be honest. you don’t know me. i was harsh, im sorry. i do think you’re pretty. i have been having bad luck on here, and let it out on you, and took it too far. i dont expect you to forgive me, but im sorry. good luck on here. hope you find what you are looking for.

    Sorry, Mark7829 no longer has an account.

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