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OkCupid Introduces Member Pledge To Curb The Scourge Of Dick Pics

OkCupid
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There must be something in the air. Not long after Tinder issued a statement asking users to remove their tiger photos, OkCupid has launched an attack on another infamous dating pest: the unsolicited dick pic.

The company took a stand against harassment and unwanted, sexually explicit messages in a blog entitled “Because You’re Better Than A Dick Pic.” The post announced a new OkCupid Member Pledge, which requires all users to agree not to send objectionable content before they are allowed to interact with the OkCupid community.

“While we rely in large part on our iconic questions to create potentially meaningful connections, it’s the people on either end of the app who ultimately have to cultivate a spark,” says OkCupid CEO Elie Seidman. “With the Member Pledge, we’re putting the power in our daters’ hands. This new feature reminds our members that, if you wouldn’t say it to someone you just met at a bar, you shouldn’t be saying it online.”

As with most apps, OkCupid users agree with the company’s Terms & Conditions when signing up. But most never read them, and those who do barely scan them, so OkCupid has put its plea for members to act with decorum front and center. The blog post calls it an effort to “not only be completely transparent about what we stand for, but also give our members that helpful reminder to pause and think about how you connect with other people online.”

The new pledge will appear to existing users after they have updated to the most recent version of OkCupid. A pop-up message warns that people sending “harassing or unwanted sexually explicit messages” will be banned. To proceed, users must click “I agree.”

It may not sound like a particularly effective weapon in the fight against harassment, but a study conducted by clinical psychologist Dr. Belisa Vranich found that 93% of men would not send harassing messages if they had agreed to a pledge that they wouldn’t.

“Pledges work. Studies show that pledges made publicly are more effective, and specific pledges yield better adherence than those that are not,” Dr. Belisa said.

“The OkCupid Member Pledge represents a new genre with a potentially very successful promise,” she continued. “It asks you not to dump your junk in their yard — pardon the pun. The pledge is specific and informs you that this is an agreement between you, other members, and an entire company that prides itself on working tirelessly to be female-friendly.”

As of August 11, OkCupid users can agree to the new Member Pledge and make online dating a kinder, friendlier, less genitalia-filled place. For more about this dating service please read our review of OkCupid.