cover image of the project
DensityDesign FSDS 2019/2020

Digital dating: faking oneself & stolen profiles

A project by Lucia Maria Emilia Ferrari, Mariam Kozbar, Zina Nadery, Kira Pyatakova, Situ Yuming, Xu Mengting

New technology and the internet have broadened our attitude to personal relationships and dating. It changed the way we meet new people and construct our personal life.
After the acceleration of informational consumption and life in general, dating apps appeared. But how do they work, how are they made, which information do they ask of us, what kind of problems do they create?

This research is not only about dating apps.
What do people nowadays associate with the words “dating scam”? When they read the words “fake profile”, what do they think of?
We tried to answer all of these questions within our research that revolves around dating apps, fake profiles, scamming and much more.

Research Questions

Which dating platforms are associated the most with fake profiles according to Google?

We researched the countries with the highest amount of online scams to show which platforms have the highest associations with fake profiles.

Which countries are mentioned the most about dating scams articles based in Google search?

If you type “dating scam” on Google, what kind of results will appear? We examined which countries mention scamming in 5 different languages.

What kind of information is required by 10 different dating applications and which are unique among them?

Dating apps ask their users many questions about themselves in the process of creating an account. For example, Bumble is interested in users’ political views and Plenty of Fish asks whether they use drugs. We analyzed the sign-up process of 10 different dating apps, specifically what kind of information is required.

What are the different types of images females and males use on dating apps?

We collected a number of profile pictures of users from 10 dating apps and analyzed them in order to understand which types of pictures are the most representative of the apps’ userbases.

How much criticism relates to chatbots and fake profiles in user app reviews?

The most popular dating apps seem to have a bot problem. Users manifest their dissatisfaction towards fake profiles and spam through the review section on the App Store and the Google Play Store. We picked the 15 most popular apps on both platforms and analyzed users’ opinions based on how often they mention certain keywords and which scores they provided.