Shame hacking: attack on dating site for ‘beautiful people’ is actually pretty scary

BeautifulPeople.com boasts online dating for beautiful people only, and at first theres a joy to watching the mighty fall. But it could happen to any of us

Theres a schadenfreude to the news today that the dating site BeautifulPeople.com was hacked.

Its a site that only lets in the genetically blessed based on some mysterious beauty metric and today the personal data of 1.1 million BeautifulPeople.com members is for sale on the black market. Its only a slice of data from 2015, and the company says the leaks been patched up, but data once stolen can never be controlled: and so 1.1 million names of self-declared Beautiful People will now begin circulating.

Like the Ashley Madison hack which left 39 million people on a dating site for married people exposed and their names suddenly searchable theres a joy in shaming people who would sign up for such a thing. Online dating for beautiful people only, the website announces.

BeautifulPeople.com is the largest internet dating community exclusively for the beautiful, it reads. Members rate new applicants over a 48 hour period based on whether or not they find the applicant beautiful.

The gall they have! The hubris!

But at the risk of sounding like a school marm: watch yourself.

First, BeautifulPeople.com is a genius idea because its just honest. Its what nightclubs already do quite effectively, and its what we all try our best to do on Tinder. Where online dating service The League explicitly bases entry on wealth and education BeautifulPeople is just hot folks looking for hot love. If clear skin and a tight waist is a religion (which, at least in America, it is), this is their JDate, and I am not here to judge.

But more importantly, hacking to shame is a scary pattern. Most active, casual, relatively sloppy young internet users (like myself) are having their data bought and sold all day long, bartered legally or illegally.

And, most active, casual, relatively sloppy humans (like myself) have a sex life thats lived, at least in part, online.

As the author W Somerset Maugham wrote: My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

Symmetrical faces couldnt save the beautiful people. And its funny to see the mighty fall. But the spotlight can fall on any of us. And it will.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/25/shame-hack-beautiful-people-ashley-madison-online-dating

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