- Dating site OkCupid refused to remove the question: ‘Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?’ for almost a year
- On Valentine’s Day learning disability charity Mencap released video showing people with a learning disability reacting to the question
- After Mencap released this video OkCupid has finally said they will delete the derogatory question.
- Campaigners with a learning disability are calling for OkCupid to meet with them and work together to make OkCupid accessible for all.
This Valentine’s Day campaigners with a learning disability have received a present better than flowers or chocolates when dating website OkCupid’s CEO Elie Seidman finally agreed to delete a discriminatory question after almost a year of campaigning, as detailed in this statement on their website.
The announcement came after Mencap released this video of people with a learning disability reacting to the question alongside new research showing that 75% of the public find OkCupid’s question unacceptable for use on a dating site and 74% thought the question should be deleted, with a clear majority in favour of dating sites welcoming users with a learning disability.
Mencap first asked OkCupid to remove the question ‘Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?’ in May 2016, yet the website continued to refuse.
Campaigners have spoken out at their joy and relief that the question has been finally removed, however they have pointed out that OkCupid has failed to speak directly to campaigners with a learning disability or at any point apologised for the harm caused to people with a learning disability.
Mencap is urging OkCupid to meet with campaigners with a learning disability and work together to ensure that OkCupid is open and welcoming to people from all backgrounds.
Ciara Lawrence, Mencap Campaigns Support Officer who has a learning disability, said:
“I was really happy when I heard that OkCupid’s CEO Elie Seidman had told journalists they would finally delete the question. But it was a bad and good moment, I am worried that even now OkCupid has never spoken directly to campaigners with a learning disability, answered our questions or said sorry for the harm this question has caused.
“It makes me worry that OkCupid is just offering to delete the question to shut us up, rather than because they understand our concerns. I hope I am wrong and that OkCupid’s CEO Elie Seidman will meet me and finally answer my questions and talk about why this happened.
“I hope that this is the first step on Mencap and OkCupid working together to make OkCupid open to people from all backgrounds, because everyone deserves the chance to find love, including people with a learning disability. “
Rossanna Trudgian, Head of Campaigns at Mencap, said:
“We are very pleased to see that Ok Cupid has finally agreed to delete this discriminatory question. It’s a huge step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go. It’s a shame that OKCupid has not acknowledged any of the concerns raised by people with a learning disability, or our research which shows that the public find this kind of question unacceptable for use on a dating website.
“If OkCupid truly are dedicated to ‘promoting the interests of people with a who have been discriminated against’ they need to start listening to and communicating with campaigners with a learning disability. I urge OkCupid to keep to their word and meet with Ciara Lawrence and other campaigners, to really understand why people with a learning disability were so hurt by this question.”
Other Controversial questions found on OkCupid.
- Would you strongly prefer to go out with someone of your own skin colour/racial background? Yes or No?
- If one of your potential matches were overweight, would that be a dealbreaker? Yes or No?
- Could you date someone who used anti-depressants? Yes or no?
- The idea of gay and lesbian couples having children is: Acceptable / Not acceptable
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org