Cos (cos) wrote in okcupid,

Warning: OkCupid jumps on the anti-privacy bandwagon

I've never liked public answers because I feel that when people answer knowing that others will see their answers, it influences their choices and pollutes the match system with somewhat skewed information. I wish OkCupid didn't have "public" answers at all (WTF, on the other hand, was nice, since it let you choose to deliberately reveal your answers to one specific person). But, at least I could avoid it for my own self.

Earlier this year, I tried making one answer public. What I didn't realize is that when I checked that "public" box and submitted, that became a default until I explicitly turned it off. So OkCupid tricked me into making the next several answers public, before I noticed. And worse, under its "you can't change your answer for 24 hours" policy, I couldn't undo that until the next day - and I had to explicitly bookmark and remember, which was frustrating.

But now they've taken that to a brand new level. I'm not sure exactly when, since I haven't answered new questions in a few months, but today I just did... and after a few I noticed that OkCupid said I had a bunch of public answers. Wha???

Public is now the default!

To make an answer private, you have to check the "private" checkbox.

Checking that box is not sticky - if you want your next answer private, you have to click it again, for each new answer.

So not only is OkCupid once again tricking me into making things public that I intended to keep private, but it's doing it in a particularly devious way, and making it really inconvenient to keep my answers private. And it's also changed in a way that's going to make everyone else much more likely to make all their answers public.

The reason I haven't answered questions in months, is because of the creepy icky feeling I got the first time I got tricked into public answers I hadn't intended. Now I have that feeling a lot more, so maybe I won't be answering questions anymore.

But even worse, this is the second time OkCupid has messed with their core feature - the matching system - in a way that makes it less valuable. The quality of the matching system is really the thing that keeps me coming back to OkCupid despite their plethora of mistakes in just about everything else. It's still the best matching system out there, sadly.

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