C’mon guys- this totally looks legit!
A dating site that opens with a pic of creepy basement guy and his mail-order Eastern European bride clad in Walmart attire and smiling unnervingly has gotten in a bit of hot water for scraping all the info for their 250,000 “profiles” from publicly available, not-deliberately-shared personal information culled from Facebook. The site was shut down for a spell when the controversy first broke, but it’s back up and running, classing unwitting Facebook users as “sly,” “climbers,” “smug,” or “mild.”
The site’s about page leads to another site, which reveals the “social experiment” behind lovely-faces.com:
Facebook, an endlessly cool place for so many people, becomes at the same time a goldmine for identity theft and dating – unfortunately, without the user’s control. But that’s the very nature of Facebook and social media in general. If we start to play with the concepts of identity theft and dating, we should be able to unveil how fragile a virtual identity given to a proprietary platform can be. And how fragile enormous capitalization based on exploiting social systems can be. And it’ll eventually mutate, from a plausible translation of real identities into virtual management, to something just for fun, with no assumed guarantee of trust, crumbling the whole market evaluation hysteria that surrounds the crowded, and much hyped, online social platforms.
Spokesman for Facebook Barry Schnitt responded to the actions of lovely-faces.com in a Facebook statement regarding the “dating” site:
“We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive legal action against organizations that violate these terms. We’ve already been in touch with Lovely-Faces to demand that they delete the data and we will take additional action as necessary.”
Interestingly, though, Facebook is in a bit of a funny position when it comes to defending itself against this kind of information scraping. The site itself sprang out of Mark Zuckerberg’s first social networking venture, Face Mash– a hotness-comparison engine that culled pics of female Harvard students, and pitted them against one another, without their permission.