- 'Ugly' Trolls attempt to get back at BeautifulPeople.com following news reports about members being ejected for losing their looks
LONDON, March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of people, angered by the recent story about members of BeautifulPeople.com being ejected from the site for letting themselves go, have attempted to take their revenge on the elitist dating site.
In an attack coordinated via social media they have been using fake profile pictures of attractive people to become members of the exclusive dating community, and then have attempted to subvert the system by voting in ugly people and voting out good-looking potential members.
Last week media around the world ran a story about how BeautifulPeople.com had expelled over 3,000 people for not maintaining the appearance necessary for the high standards expected by the site – a move welcomed by most members, but which angered readers who disagreed with the site's selective policy.
The 'Ugly' troll attack originated in Russia with over 2,700 applications to the site from Russia in a few hours. Over half of these were fake profiles and part of the troll army. Similar coordinated attacks have come from the United States and the United Kingdom with 1,435 US trolls removed from the site and 400 from the UK in the past few days.
Greg Hodge, the managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, said: "We had large spikes in numbers applying to join the site using profiles which immediately raised the suspicions of our administrators. Initially the scale of applications from specific geographical areas – Russia the United States and the UK in particular – caused concern, when we examined the applications in more detail, we noticed a large number of what appeared to be fake profile pictures. We then traced this back to various social media sites calling for an attack on our site."
This is not the first time the site has been under attack. BeautifulPeople has been hit with denial of service attacks and had their rating system sabotaged in 2011.
The site introduced a system of validated membership in 2012, whereby entrants are encouraged to take a webcam picture of themselves holding up a piece of paper with their name and date handwritten on it to prove that their pictures are genuine.
Validated members get a "verification stamp" on their profiles, this feature was previously optional, the attack has forced the site's managers to make profile verification mandatory. BeautifulPeople is the first dating site to force all users to prove they are genuine.
Hodge said: "Fake profiles are the number one problem in the online dating market today. We have always led the field in combating this. In taking this next step, we believe we will all but eliminate disingenuous profiles on our site and set the example for the online dating market as a whole. Online daters do not want their time wasted with fraudulent profiles."
He added: "Having an exclusive dating site is not without controversy. There will always be a degree of jealousy from those who don't make the cut. Thankfully, through swift action by our administrators, vigilant members and the introduction of an extra level of verification has meant that we have been able to root out the attackers and ensure that our site remains beautiful and exclusive."
Entry to BeautifulPeople.com is only possible after passing a democratic rating process, where members of the opposite sex vote 'Yes definitely', 'Hmm yes, O.K', 'Hmm no, not really' and 'NO Definitely NOT' based on photographs and a brief profile submitted by new applicants.
After the recent cull, over 800,000 members remain on the site, representing 190 countries and almost every ethnic and cultural background.
A global average of one in ten applicants that apply to the site are accepted.