Folks at the beautifulpeople.com will tell you that hanging with the beautiful crowd has its perks - until an angry ex-employee crashes the pretty-people party with 30,000 of his or her ugliest friends.
The exclusive dating site reports it was targeted by a virus aptly called "Shrek" last month, allowing thousands of so-called "ugly people" to set up profiles on the site without approval. Usually, the site's members vote on whether applicants are worthy of a beautifulpeople.com profile.
"We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting," site director Greg Hodge said in a prepared statement.
(If you think that's a little odd, read on.)
About 30,000 users reportedly got a not-so-polite rejection email informing them their profiles would be shuttered. "Sorry to inform you, you're not beautiful enough," the email stated, according to one report.
"We have sincere regret for the unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and who believed, albeit for a short while, that they were beautiful," Hodge said. "It must be a bitter pill to swallow, but better to have had a slice of heaven then never to have tasted it at all."
The flippant tone of the statement - and beautifulpeople.com's history of publicity stunts - has some calling the site out for faking the virus. After all, this is the same site that once falsely reported it was making users reapply for membership after the holiday season because too many "let themselves go."
Graham Cluley, a blogger for Naked Security, wrote:
It's a fantastic piece of chicanery, of course, designed to boost awareness of the dating website, get them many thousands of pounds of free publicity with little risk of damage to their reputation.
But beautifulpeople.com managers maintain that's not the case. They're blaming a disgruntled ex-employee for the "Shrek" virus.
From the site's statement:
The origin of the 'Shrek Virus' is still being investigated internally. It was initially thought to be one of the 5.5 million BeautifulPeople.com rejects, but further investigations point to a former employee who placed the virus before leaving the team in May. Despite wreaking havoc with the application process, member privacy and security was never breached.
And that's just convenient enough to make the world skeptical.
Beautifulpeople.com proudly claims to have rejected about 5.5 million applicants. But now: "BeautifulPeople.com has set up a hotline on 1 (800) 791-0662 to help recently rejected applicants deal with the hard news and can give tips for those wishing to re-apply. "
I'm guessing tip No. 1 goes a little something like this: "Become prettier."
Posted By: Amy Rolph (Email) | June 20 2011 at 03:21 PM
Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...9#ixzz1PrMJepMe
Website Bans 30,000 Ugly people
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