I haven’t gone on a rant in a while, so here goes. On the online dating site “Plenty of Fish,” there is an option called “My Matches” where you click on it and it’s supposed to give you people that are good matches for you, presumably based on your profile information and their profile information. There isn’t much info on how exactly they decide on your matches beyond this:


They only match women with men who make more money than them. WTF POF? Is it not 2010? And a part of your standard matching is that the guy has to make more money? You’ve got to be freaking kidding.

12 Replies to “WTF POF?”

  1. While I got married far too long ago to have ever used an online dating service, I do know that PoF is highly data-driven, and that they’ll follow their users’ behaviour (rather than what people might say or think they want in public) rather than what might be less sexist or racist or whatever.

    My guess is that they make these matches because, in general, women using the service indicate or behave in such a way that they’d prefer men who are taller and make more money than they do. It wouldn’t surprise me that, if they ask you for your race and you answer, it tries to match you with someone of the same race too. What I would hope is that the site lets you change your preferences so you can sidestep the default biases of their matchmaking algorithm, and maybe teach it a wider variety of perspectives. Whether it does, I don’t know.

  2. @Derek: well, that may be the case (that they track behaviour) but then it’s just a terrible self-fulfilling prophecy. Not that it’s really POF’s duty to battle stereotypes but it would be nice if it didn’t promote them in this way. Plus it’s a hell of a difference to track an individual and match them with someone with the same or higher income based on their personal behaviour than it is to just blanket assume that ALL women are looking for someone with the same or greater income.

  3. WHAT?! That’s outrageous – both the salary and the height!

    I have a female friend who’s over six feet tall (in Scotland, where the men tend to be shorter than in Canada, on average). She used to only date men who were at least as tall as her – but then she realised that she was narrowing the field so much that she was mostly dating tall assholes. Within a few months of deciding that height shouldn’t be her primary motivation, she met the man who is now her husband and father of her children. But they still get all the ridiculous comments about how she’s so much taller than him… ridiculous!

  4. @Derek – Yeah, you can do your own search for whatever parameters you want, but it irks me that the default “match” it will make is based on the sexist assumption that women want/need a man who makes more money than them. I’m with Kalev on this in that I don’t think they should promote the stereotype in this way, even if most women in their system do this – it doesn’t mean that I want it! So really, it’s not “my matches” but “what society thinks my matches should be.” And, like with Catherine’s issue (and Cath’s friend’s issue) re: height, I think it will narrow the field too much if the guy has to make at least as much as I do.

  5. In all seriousness… relationships are complicated. Anyone who believes that a free app or web site can find your perfect match is living in a modern day fairy tale and drunk. Since when has anything come that easy? You get what u settle for.

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