Facebook’s dating app is finally making privacy invasion sexy

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Matthew Cantor

I, for one, can’t wait for Facebook’s new service. Where better to point a powerful surveillance tool than at our love lives?

Thank God Facebook is finally offering a dating app. Who better to entrust with the most intimate parts of our lives than Mark Zuckerberg, the king of privacy?

I assume Zuck will be building it off of one of the early projects that established him as a wunderkind: FaceMash. You may remember it – it’s the one where he hacked into campus websites, collecting pictures that allowed Harvard students to rank each other by hotness.

With Facebook dating, the FaceMash dream is at last becoming reality.

This should make it easy for Facebook’s hottest people – if there are any left; my understanding is most hot people have migrated to Instagram – to match with equally attractive people, leaving the rest of us trolls and gnomes to mingle with each other. And after a few months, you can bet the data will leak, offering us all an opportunity to find out, based on rigorous computer analyses, how hot we are. I’m a four at best, you’re a seven.

But those numbers won’t be based just on looks. What this app has over Tinder is its existing knowledge of every facet of our lives. Romance is, of course, transactional, and Zuckerberg can finally determine a precise formula based on the value each person brings to a potential match.

In a few years, we might all be happily married to Russian bots

How much money does it take to compensate for suboptimal physical attractiveness? How often do I have to post about working out to balance out my penchant for Ben and Jerry’s? How often do you have to donate to charities to make up for the fact that you bought an alarming amount of toilet paper on Amazon last month?

Then there’s the possibility that Facebook engagement could come into play. Will active users get more profile views than those of us who have largely abandoned the site? Would that mean we’re more likely to end up on dates with the kind of person who posts constantly on Facebook? Sign me up.

More good news: the site is promising it won’t match you with friends – heaven forbid you date someone you already know is not a psychopath. So presumably we still won’t be able to see how many times that weird kid from high school scrolled through our beach pictures, until the company ditches that pledge like so many others. On the plus side, Zuckerberg initially considered including farm animals on FaceMash, so it’s possible you could match with a good-looking sheep.

I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about the next step in Facebook’s evolution. Sure, it’s an easy target now. But in a few years, we might all be happily married to Russian bots.

 

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