OkCupid is a funny thing. I had recently exhausted most of my viable searches so I decided to leave that site behind for the most part. It was therefore rather surprising when I received a notification from OkCupid that I had received a message.
My hopes were lifted, perhaps inappropriately, that a match had decided to message me for a change in contrast to the “black hole” effect that I got from the site. For the record, I know why that is occurring and will likely elaborate in a later post. However, this post came from OkCupid itself.
Apparently, my account was in good standing so I qualified for being a moderator. Naturally, I was intrigued by this process. What goes on behind the scenes?
I had visions of Palpatine from Star Wars Episode III during his final encounter with Mace Windu. “POWER! UNLIMITED POWER!”, he shrieked as he zapped Windu with a bolt of Force lightning. Yes, I’ll become a moderator and make a decision on who gets to stay and who is sent packing from the site.
There is a host of acronyms you learn, and rules delineating what you can and cannot post that are virtually a carbon copy of what you’d see in your typical Terms of Service. This is stuff that is present in OkCupid’s profile and photo rules but spelled out a little more clearly.
My Palpatine fantasies were dashed against the rocks, however, as I settled into the moderation itself. My best friends during this time were the letters “NTU”, as that’s by far the most common issue on OkCupid.
Something that not a lot of people know is that all your profile photos must be of you. You can indeed post photos of other things, but those are confined to your other photo albums. I say that not a lot of people know that because it’s routine that a dog, background texture, inspirational quote, or other picture sneaks its way into people’s profiles. That’s if they’re not outright fake, as many duplicitous users pluck porn star photos from the internet and use them in the profile.
They aren’t egregious sins, but they’re annoying to deal with. Thankfully, it’s the most common thing to deal with, so I am only subjected to other bits of nastiness in smaller doses.
The next most common profile is the spambot profile, one that solicits the user to click on a link leading to another site. They’re also annoying, but easy to deal with. Just a few clicks and then you move on.
There are some false positives thrown in, mostly cropping issues gone awry where someone doesn’t click on the thumbnail to see if the person is viewable in the full photo.
But the real fun of being a moderator comes when someone believes it’s a smart idea to put a photo of themselves in the nude on the profile. Nudity is a bit of a tricky subject because the rules are clear when it comes to genitals. A picture of a penis or vagina is liable to get you in trouble. Women are also not to show their nipples. Under normal circumstances, I’d debate whether or not the female nipple is intrinsically sexual. But realistically, in this context where the goal is to attract a partner, it usually carries a sexual connotation.
Women are also not to show their nipples. Under normal circumstances, I’d debate whether or not the female nipple is intrinsically sexual. But realistically, in this context where the goal is to attract a partner, it usually carries a sexual connotation.
Where things get a little weird is the fact that butts, by and large, are fair game. This was something of an oddity for me. Logically, I figured if nipples were off-limits, then the rear was as well. Nope, apparently not.
Yet, I can speak with confidence that although it may not be a policy violation, it will likely not land you the partner you desire. Even if it’s not a rules violation, it’s certainly not a good move. Even if you have a delectable derriere, you’ll probably attract people who merely want a piece of said derriere. I’m also gonna mention that most derrieres are not of the “delectable” variety unless squats are firmly integrated into your daily exercise routine.
I have seen one penis. No vaginas, though. While the unsolicited dick pic reigns supreme in private communications, a public penis is a much rarer specimen. I would not be surprised if someone did indeed post a vagina, despite the fact that I have yet to see one floating around the OkCupid ether.
The Minds of the Lonely
What moderating did give me was a window in the minds of the userbase, a certain view of people that I had not considered before. Largely, however, it appears that people could benefit from simply reading directions and following common sense.