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What if online dating sites called on all users to consider what it means to be a black woman or an Asian man while swiping and messaging?
And once a user had received a cross-race message, he or she was more likely to initiate new interracial exchanges in the short-term future.In a chilling account discussed on the podcast, a Dating Ring user, upon receiving the name and phone number of a match, was said to have replied: “I hope that’s a typo, because that name doesn’t sound white to me.” Whenever someone tells me that discussing online dating is a waste of time, I refer to that anecdote and two sad truths about the online dating industry that Dating Ring’s founders discovered: First, giving people the tools to act on racial bias is profitable; and second, it is not fair to users who are discriminated against to be matched with people who are biased against their racial group and, as a result, will dismiss them as potential matches.So Dating Ring moved away from its original design.For instance, in 2013, Ok Cupid removed users’ profile photos for one day, dubbing it “Love is Blind Day.” People couldn’t tell who was, well, what.
They complained bitterly, as OKCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder chronicled in his book, “Dataclysm.” When the profile pictures returned, many conversations and interactions that had budded in the photos’ absence — and which Ok Cupid found to be qualitatively better than usual — fizzled.
At times, online dating as a black woman has been extraordinarily painful.