In Online Dating, Everyone’s A Bit Of A Racist

New-Grindr-Preview_Cascade-sm-e1351978052258OK Cupid has roughly 4 million active users, many of whom are seeking same-sex dates. And if you happen to be one of them,  know that the site watches every move you make. Not to be creepy, but to compile meta-data (which, OK, is maybe a little bit creepy).

Cofounder Christian Rudder spoke recently to The Atlantic about how users break down on racial lines, offering this analysis:

The racial picture isn’t the most pleasant one. It’s definitely, um, what you would expect if you were a very cynical person. So, you know, black users get a kind of…25 percent discount in the replies they get, volume of messages they get, level of rating they get from other users. And that’s from not only whites, but Asians and Latinos as well.

You can ask people directly, you know, ‘what do you think about interracial dating?’ and you’ll almost always get a, like, ‘oh, yeah I’m totally cool with interracial dating’ or this kind of attitude when they have to verbalize it. But the way they act is definitely different than that…It’s pretty universal.

Some gay guys have no shame in making their racial preferences known, often in horribly crass phrases like “white only” or “not into Asians,” not realizing that their language can and does hurt people.

But behind the veil of anonymity, it appears that there are many more who think and behave just like them.