A dating website that prides itself on matching only the best-looking individuals has deleted the accounts of more than 30,000 users after a computer virus accidentally allowed them to skip the site’s screening process.
According to the site’s policy everyone must pass a strict “rating” stage, when existing members vote on whether new applicants are beautiful enough to join the site. They vote ‘Absolutely not’, ‘No’, ‘Hmm ok’, and ‘Beautiful’ based on photographs and a brief profile submitted by new applicants.
But the rating module was brought down last month, allowing anyone – regardless of looks – to be accepted. Greg Hodge, managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, said: “We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting.”
“We responded immediately, repairing the damage from the ‘Shrek Virus’ and putting every new member back into the rating module for a legitimate and democratic vote. The result is that we have lost over 30,000 recent members.
“We have sincere regret for the unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and who believed, albeit for a short while, that they were beautiful. It must be a bitter pill to swallow, but better to have had a slice of heaven then never to have tasted it at all.”
The origin of the ‘Shrek Virus’ is still being investigated internally. It was initially thought that one of the 5.5 million BeautifulPeople.com rejects has caused it, but further investigations point to a former employee of BeautifulPeople.com who had placed the virus before leaving the team in May. According to the statement of the web-site administration, despite wreaking havoc with the application process, member privacy and security was never breached.
A team of beauty police from around the world has been recruited to guard against any further infiltrators who do not come up to the expected standards.
Hodge said: “We have now launched version 3.3 of the site a month ahead of schedule, what you see when you visit BeautifulPeople.com today is a more sophisticated site and an even more exclusive and tightly guarded community of beautiful men and women only.
“We would like to reassure our community that the rating module has been restored to perfect working order. Every vote continues to count as we remain true to our founding principles; keeping the trolls out and the beautiful people in. On a positive note, we did get several thousand worthy applicants during the same period – notably from the USA, Denmark and Australia.”
BeautifulPeople.com is the largest community of attractive people in the world. Despite the recent rejections, the site has over 700,000 members worldwide.
On average, only one in seven applicants is accepted. The majority of successful new members come from the USA, Denmark and France. The countries with the highest rate of rejections are the UK, Russia and Poland with the UK and Russia having the least attractive male applicants in the world.
Among The 30,000 ugly people recently cast out of BeautifulPeople.com were 11,924 people from the USA and 3,156 from the UK. Among the countries with ‘ugly’ applicants are also Brazil, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Russia and Denmark. [via The Guardian (UK) and PR Newswire]