MIT students prank Harvard with fake dating app


“One afternoon I thought, ‘how many Harvard students could I convince to fill out a long questionnaire to find the love of their lives in less than a week?’

A view of the campus at Harvard University on July 8, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images North America

When a new Harvard-specific dating app came up with a comprehensive study that promised a marriage match, many students were quick to offer their personal information. It turned out to be just a joke, but when MIT students behind it saw how successful it had been, he decided to make it legitimate.

In mid-October, a website called the “Harvard Marriage Pact” circulated on campus, inviting students to complete a matchmaking survey with comprehensive questions, Harvard Crimson reported. It was modeled after “Marriage Covenant”, a service launched at Stanford and active on 64 campuses, including Tufts University, matching students with “backup” spouses. (So ​​far, the service has made 93,834 matches and 1 “actual” marriage.)

Students completed the survey and waited for a match – promised before October 15 – but the site and social media disappeared after the people behind the original “marriage pact” sent an end.

“We were trying to reach out in all sorts of different ways,” Liam J. McGregor, who runs the Marriage Pact, told Crimson. “We said to them, ‘Hey, we love the enthusiasm, but this is not okay.'”

According to Crimson, since reappeared on October 31 as ExExEx, and those who completed the survey got their matches.

The site was created by MIT undergraduate Liam Kronman, and an unidentified other contributor, Jason Seo, according to the website. In a statement to Crimson, Kronman said he wrote the study as a fun experiment.

“One afternoon I thought, ‘how many Harvard students could I convince to fill out a long questionnaire to find the love of their lives in less than a week?'” Kronman wrote. “We had no intentions of matching people or using their data maliciously (we maintain the latter). Instead, we would send out a joke match.”

It might have started as a joke, but Kronman ended up matching the respondents using an algorithm he wrote based on “the stable marriage problem.” The idea behind his service – which someone could pick out from the name – is that your ex’s ex’s ex is your perfect match.

The students seem to be interested in it and not super worried about the data they shared.

“I do not know that any of the data I would have given would be burdensome, or if they came out that it would be a big deal,” Will McKibben said the first year. Crimson.

“The first-class group chat was like, ‘This is a scam,'” Bethany Wiebold told first-year Crimson. “We were cheated – they took our information and ran with it.”

Still, she has sent a message with her match and would complete a survey again.

“The concept is very, very interesting,” Wiebold said. “I would probably use it.”

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