Match Pulls Its Alexa Dating Advice Skill Over Controversial Tips
Dating in the digital age can be full of question marks (we can barely keep up with all the weird trends!), so we’re typically open to any advice we can get. Match.com’s new Amazon Alexa skill, meant to help you prep for that big date with sage words of wisdom from everyone’s favorite electronic voice, however, seemed to totally miss the mark, dishing out tips that had many balking, with the site pulling it less than 48 hours after its release.
“Match’s First Date What Ifs,” the result of seven years of dating data which Match obtained from nearly 35,000 singles via their annual Singles in America poll, was pulled, the webpage shut down, and the official press release deleted in swift succession due to several programmed eyebrow-raising responses the machine was giving.
As a Match spokesperson explained to POPSUGAR upon launch, “The skill’s questions and answers touch on everything from ‘what if they’re a bad kisser’ to ‘what if they bring up politics.’ All of the answers are meant to be fun, yet helpful and will no doubt help you get the jitters out and feel confident for your date.”
It was the answers to questions of a more sexual nature that left users shocked, however. After asking Alexa ‘What if [their date] wants to have sex?” the responses varied from, “Only if you must, or if they’re really hot” to, even worse, “Simple. Remove clothing. In, out. repeat.” Yikes!
As VentureBeat noted, the topic of consent was largely absent from the skill’s 30+ programmed questions, and in turn, responses, with the most empowering response to the above question being, “If you do too, do them. If you don’t, do you.”
What’s more, as HuffPost‘s Julie Spira discovered first-hand when she posed some very legitimate queries that were NOT included in the suggested questions, like “What if my date drinks too much?” or “What if my date lies about their age?” all Alexa could say was “LOL.”
The app is reportedly still available for purchase in the Amazon app store. We have reached out to Match.com for a comment and will update the piece with any further response.
What do you think of Match’s botched dating skill? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Ethan Miller + David Becker/Getty + Amazon)