Looks like the Ugly Stepsister

By Conor Boland June 20, 2011 is not looking so beautiful after they chose to delete 30,000 accounts from their system. They didn’t delete the accounts because of server problems or because the website was losing money, but rather because those 30,000 people were too ugly.

According to, the website was attacked by a computer virus and this allowed the new users to skip the screening process. The purpose of the screening process is to admit new users into the “beautiful people” club and in order to become a member of, the website must vote applicants in.

The virus (called Shrek) didn’t allow users to be voted in, therefore they got a free pass into the website. After discovering the Shrek virus, chose to remove the ugly users from the website.

“We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting,” Greg Hodge, managing director of, told the Guardian.   

People who are already members of vote for the new applicants, deeming them beautiful or too ugly for the site. The website is “a dating site where existing members hold the key to the door” and “beauty lies in the eye of the voter.”

There are four different rankings for those voting. There are two middle areas in which somebody is either beautiful enough or not beautiful enough. The two outside areas are more direct and are labeled “beautiful” and “absolutely not.”

If an applicant is voted beautiful, they become part of the website. If the applicant is voted “absolutely not,” they will not be allowed to be part of the website. Essentially, this applicant is rejected. 

“We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people – that's what our members have paid for,” said Hodge. “We can't just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet.”

The website has paid out $112,500 in refunds to 4,500 of the 30,000 people who were booted from the website, while the remaining users were using their free trial. Membership costs 25 dollars a month.  

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Conor Boland is a TechZone360 editorial assistant, contributing news items and feature articles on a variety of communications and technology topics. To read more of Conor's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Editorial Assistant

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