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Friday, 8 January 2010

Website discriminates against ugly people

A dating website has kicked out 5,000 of its members simply because they gained weight over the festive season, but the good news for Indians, who form a substantial chunk of, is that they were spared the chop.

The site has created quite a stir in the virtual world, after disowning members because they put on weight after Christmas and New Year festivities and no longer qualified for membership. The company said it expelled 1,520 users from the US, 88 people from Russia, 832 from the UK, 176 from Turkey, 533 from Canada, 220 from Denmark, 510 from Poland, 323 from France, 425 from Germany and 402 from Italy. No one from India was ousted.

Beauty Meter
So how beautiful do you have to be to qualify? has a running meter which decides your attractiveness after you upload your picture. And for those “too ugly” to make it, there’s an option to tour the website as a guest. The existing members vote in new ones, who qualify if they get a certain number of votes. The site declares that its members never have to “filter through unattractive people on mainstream sites” and ‘guarantees’ that “your date will always be beautiful”.

Offended visitors
“Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded,” the site’s founder Robert Hintze reportedly said in a BBC interview. With 5,40,000 members from 16 countries and a traffic of 4 million visitors per day, the site also has a fair share of critics and anti-groups on social networking sites . Writes Laila Masiqbal, on Facebook group Say no to, “It is definitely not the sexiest website nor the most elite.” Max Randall, on writes, “What ignorance!” while Igor Zanetti from Croatia says, “It is pretty
stupid. Frustrated freaks.”

A blogger on iamugleeee says, “I hate this website. It’s like going back to the dark ages. Somebody please spam them!!!!” Shom Ray, director, eMakerz: E Branding Solutions, a Delhiite says, “They are discriminating on the basis on looks. Such sites should be banned.”

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