Update, 12/22 1:03 p.m.: This piece has been up to date with OkCupid’s response.

Online relationship web site OkCupid introduced on Thursday that it could abolish usernames on its web site, as a substitute requiring customers to publish their “actual names.”

In a reasonably condescending weblog publish in regards to the change, OkCupid wrote: “We know, that is robust to listen to — particularly for StayingPawwsitive, Dootdootledootd0 and Britney__Tears. It’s as a result of, just like the current goodbye we stated to AIM display screen names, it’s time to maintain up with the occasions. We need you, BigDaddyFlash916, to go by who you’re, and never be hidden beneath one other layer of mystique. Even if that mystique is essential to you and your relationship life, unicorn__jizz.”

Honestly, all of those folks sound like wonderful dates, particularly Britney_Tears. But OkCupid has determined that usernames aren’t enjoyable or expressions of character, however annoying bullshit that they don’t need on their already outdated relationship web site. And for individuals who wish to defend their privateness, there’s now one much less place to take action.

Most different on-line relationship websites both hyperlink to a Facebook account (which you’ll create a spoof account for, with a pretend identify, for those who’re involved about privateness) or solely require first names or nicknames. Tinder and Bumble are related to Facebook, however each solely show first names.

In an electronic mail, an OkCupid spokesperson informed me that “in an effort to qualify as an actual identify it needs to be two letters minimal, no numbers or symbols or emojis. We even have an inventory of banned phrases that might not qualify. Also we’re solely asking folks for first names solely, not their final names, so that is an added degree of safety.”

I requested Girl on the Net, a intercourse blogger who chooses to work underneath a pseudonym for her personal privateness, about this modification. She informed me in an electronic mail that years in the past, she went on a primary date with a person she met on OkCupid. They had a pleasant sufficient time, she stated, however wasn’t eager about a second outing, and politely informed him as a lot.

“He proceeded to get very drunk and ship me a sequence of more and more offended/righteous/pissed off messages, culminating in a few threats and a ‘fuck you’ or two for good measure,” she stated. He threatened to contact her boss, however couldn’t, as a result of he didn’t know her full identify.

“My solely cause for elevating it was as a result of I’m genuinely terrified for the folks (a lot of whom could also be much more weak than I used to be on the time) who go on dates with Jekyll/Hyde characters like this, who appear completely high quality within the first occasion then flip into threatening nightmares.”

The logic for this modification is shaky at greatest: A earlier model of the weblog included the phrase “we’re all born with names,” a phrase it has now edited out, in all probability as a result of people aren’t born branded with a reputation at delivery. This assertion may erase trans folks and divorcees.

Anonymity can add its personal security issues—folks hiding behind a username are extra apt to say no matter they need. But revealing your id can have critical penalties: Just this month a lady was murdered by somebody she met on Tinder.

I requested OkCupid if the corporate was conscious that this modification may open customers as much as harassment or doxxing. The spokesperson stated:

“We take privateness at OkCupid very significantly…We additionally aren’t accumulating or encouraging full names – we wish customers to share how they wish to be known as which could be your first identify or your nickname, or no matter you’re comfy with. We encourage customers who don’t really feel comfy to as a substitute use a nickname or their initials.”

The responses to the announcement are largely detrimental. Li Poltorak wrote: “Everyone who doesn’t wish to be stalked goes to shut their account. Every queer, kinky, or non-monogamous one who is closeted in any a part of their life must shut their accounts too.”

“This publish insults the intelligence of your viewers, together with some who’re your paying clients,” consumer kimberley commented. “Forcing actual identify utilization isn’t about whether or not you take pleasure in folks’s selection of usernames.”

This article sources info from Motherboard