OKCupid Backtracks on Its Real Names-Only Policy for Users

Earlier this month, OKCupid announced it would ask users go by their real names on the online dating platform, instead of by sometimes-goofy usernames. It was a move meant to control harassment and promote community on the platform, but not everyone was excited about the idea.

The announcement was part of two changes the dating site is making. First, it’s taking a page from Tinder and will now only deliver messages to a user once both people have indicated they “like” each other. And it’s asking everyone to ditch the kooky username.

The idea behind the move is to make it harder to harass people since everyone will have to do so under their real names. Some users think that the change will have the opposite effect and make it easier for men, in particular, to harass women and find them off of the platform. It’s also problematic for trans individuals and other marginalized groups, The Washington Post reports.

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After a bit of backlash for the OKCupid community, this week the site backtracked, saying that users don’t have to use their legal name, and instead could use the name, nickname, or initials they want to be known as on OkCupid.

So you have to use something different, but that “different” doesn’t have to really be your name. The new policies start to go into effect next year.

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