Why OKCupid Ditched User Nicknames...for 5 minutes
Clearly, OKCupid is trying to introduce more accountability and legitimacy, as well as a more contemporary feel to the 14 year old dating site, but in a truly poorly thought-out move, in early December, OKCupid (temporarily) counter-intuitively insisted that members ditch their user names (think: Runnergurl, IMorningstar1, RealMan4You) in lieu of their real first names.
But then, why on earth would you institute a practice that instantly makes it easier to Google (not too hard to narrow down a "Monica" in healthcare or teaching, in Dubuque, Iowa between the ages of 25-30) and contact members off-site, thus making them less safe?
An additional and interesting result of removing usernames was that all those unsavory or odd characters who just couldn't help themselves: HardFerYa, BitchSlap, MoneyHunney, MamasBoy or SexxyKitty--that extra layer of 'crazy' was removed. We always found that odd or blatantly sexual usernames were an early warning sign to stay away.
After quite a bit of backlash from the OkCupid community and and the press, OkCupiid quickly revised this change, and came out with the following message instead:
Just to figure out if there were limits with this quick change-back, we switched our name to WeBrake4Pizza, and were informed that we could not use a number in our user name. Why? Is it less trashy and more legitimate to call oneself, WeBrakeForPizza? Whatevs.
For now, you can add your own cute or clever nickname back. Who would want to be Tiffany, when you can be IMakeaMeanMeatball?