Dating site steals SA Facebook profiles

2011-02-07 22:31

Johannesburg - An American dating website has stolen the personal information of about 250 000 people, including a number of South Africans, from their Facebook profiles and posted it on the dating site without their knowledge.

The website,, promises to connect you to a suitable partner. They have divided men and women into categories according to the information they have posted on Facebook. They have categorised them as “climber”, “easy going”, “funny”, “mild”, “sly” and “smug”.

People are also categorised according to nationality and gender.

Users of the website can click on any person’s name and are then led to a description of the person.

Chris Gandy, an American girl described as “mild”, is one of those whose profile was hijacked without her knowledge.

The website describes her interests as Applestudents, Tuckermax and Jarette Howell Photography Design, according to what she has listed for her Facebook friends.

Users can rate Gandy out of five on how “cool” she is, after which they are taken directly to her Facebook profile.

The website is an experiment aimed at warning people about how dangerous internet social networks are, is how Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovic, the creators of the dating site, tried to explain their objective to

“Facebook, an endlessly cool place for so many people, becomes at the same time a goldmine for identity theft and dating - unfortunately, without the user’s control. But that’s the very nature of Facebook and social media in general,” according to a  statement on their website.

The bosses of Facebook have come out very strongly against the website’s abuse (what they label “scraping”) of users’ information. They said they will “take appropriate action”.

“Scraping people’s information violates our terms. We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive legal action against organisations that violate these terms,” Facebook’s director of policy communications, Barry Schnitt, told

  • Snotty - 2011-02-07 23:31

    ohh how nice I have put all false info on my facebook profile hahahahaa

      Stofbolletji - 2011-02-08 00:36

      He he...Yes,they will find me young man from SA,address...Parkie 4,Boom 7,Tak 3.

  • Grunt - 2011-02-08 01:09

    What is my legal recourse if I am followed by hundreds of eligible women?

      ArtGee - 2011-02-08 05:22

      Nothing available..... so now you will have to just lie back and try enjoy it!!! HAHAHA!!!

      richard - 2011-02-09 00:29

      Wait in line Zuma is first.

  • jiamalunga - 2011-02-08 06:57

    Your facebook profile is not secure! Please enter your mobile number so that we can secure it! What a F$%^&*N JOKE! And they get away with it.

  • smart.clive.w - 2011-02-08 07:00

    Of the 28 South African Men, at least 6 have girls names!

      WALOK - 2011-02-08 08:15

      Yep, they got the cream of the crop there.....

      alanianm - 2011-02-08 18:20

      More like cream of the c ock! :)

  • Zenwie - 2011-02-08 07:32

    To get rid of a lot of junk, I recently switch to a new ISP for ADSL and changed my e-mail address. But on Facebook, I changed to an old, never used before gmail address, BUT I did not make it visible to anybody. And guess what, shortly after that I started getting junk from all over the world on this gmail address. So now I am 100% sure FB themselves are handing out e-mail addresses, because they were the only ones having it!

      Umfubi - 2011-02-08 10:12

      Wrong conclusion Zenwie. Ever heard of spambots? Go google it.

      fwallrustitie - 2011-02-08 12:08

      @ Umfubi : I am a dumb ass as well so explain to me as well. Wikipedia, that source of unverifiable information, indicates it is grabbed from various sources websites, forums etc etc. But that would mean that Zenwie had had allowed the mail address somehow into the mainstream forum etc. If it was never used in these open areas, surely FB security protocols etc should have maintained his privacy. Alternatively i there spyware or spam scavenging software on the PC that is harvesting email addresses? Still say put a pic of your brown eye on FB under a pseudonym and let your mates try and figure out who you are, see who says yes to friend requests.

  • steve.dupreez - 2011-02-08 07:39

    This is an outrage!! My photo is not on there....bloody americans, can't do anything right. hehe

  • Lone Ranger - 2011-02-08 07:46

    Different search criteria delivers different results, eg I searched for "Any Nationality", "Any Character", "man", and typed in the name Pieter. Even Pieter Koen's "profile" is there! There is definitely more than 28 SA's on there, just not defined as such. I suggest each person search their own name...

  • golanc2 - 2011-02-08 07:53

    as i suspected.....the internet is exploding with trix to extract money from the public...its rife with frude.

  • golanc2 - 2011-02-08 07:54

    all ur facebook account is free for all

  • Lawson - 2011-02-08 08:00

    Thats a change from Nigerian 419 scammers and Russian translation scams, maybe we should call this the Apple pie in the sky scam...

  • SuBla - 2011-02-08 08:02

    See my picture? Taht why. Puuurrrrr

  • Perfume - 2011-02-08 08:12

    Sjoe now I have to remove a photo I have of myself on FB, wearing a pair of white cheeky shorts, never know who is going to be using it....lmao!!!!!!!

  • Lone Ranger - 2011-02-08 08:14

    Different search criteria delivers different results, eg I searched for "Any Nationality", "Any Character", "man", and typed in the name Pieter. Even Pieter Koen's "profile" is there! There is definitely more than 28 SA's on there, just not defined as such. I suggest that each person should search for their own name...

  • Zippy - 2011-02-08 08:25

    This is the company that manages the dating website. I suspect they own it as well. and they seem proud of their illegal ways!

      Zippy - 2011-02-08 08:30

      and some more info if anyone would like to "hack" Domain name: PAOLOCIRIO.NET Created on: 2006-06-01 Updated on: 2010-06-26 Expires on: 2011-06-01 Registrant Name: PAOLO CIRIO Contact: Paolo Cirio Registrant Address: Via Rossini 14 Registrant City: Torino Registrant Postal Code: 10124 Registrant Country: IT Administrative Contact Organization: Paolo Cirio Administrative Contact Name: Paolo Cirio Administrative Contact Address: Via Rossini 14 Administrative Contact City: Torino Administrative Contact Postal Code: 10124 Administrative Contact Country: IT Administrative Contact Email: Administrative Contact Tel: +39 32 84568049 Technical Contact Organization: S.p.A. Technical Contact Name: Technical Contact Address: Via Montessori s/n Technical Contact City: Bergamo Technical Contact Postal Code: 24126 Technical Contact Country: IT Technical Contact Email: Technical Contact Phone: +39 035 3230400 Technical Contact Fax: +39 035 3230312

      Umfubi - 2011-02-08 10:14

      What law have they broken, exactly?

      sabrael - 2011-02-08 10:44

      I'm with Umfubi on this one. If you leave your profile information public, it's your own fault.

  • Vaal Donkie - 2011-02-08 09:04

    If you don't want the world to know about it, don't put it on Facebook. Simple.

  • Nice Guy - 2011-02-08 09:45

    It's outrageous. So many girls are now harrassing me for sex.My photo is supposed to be banned from websites as it creates too much of a heat wave in women's .....

      Perfume - 2011-02-08 19:35

      ROFLMAO!!!!!!! I am curious

  • Dewet - 2011-02-08 09:56

    Ironic to me as Zuckerberg sort of found facebook via his creation of a site which 'scraped' (stole) female profiles from online harvard listings of female students and then posted them on his site so harvard students could rate them. Now this happens to facebook and off course, legal action will be taken by Zuckerberg. Ironic

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-02-08 10:32

    funny relly, that's how facebook started in the first place

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-02-08 10:44

    Cyber pimp till I die

  • alessandroz067 - 2011-02-08 11:45

    looks a bit pale to me

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-02-08 12:32

    The only reason FB is taking ACTION is because these guys haven't paid them!

  • James Lenoir - 2011-02-08 13:27

    Has anyone noticed, the complete absence of black faces on

      Perfume - 2011-02-08 19:37

      There are plenty of "black" faces are you colour blind lol

  • Seperetla - 2011-02-08 16:32

    Blame it on Apartheid!!!!

  • Zabatman - 2011-02-08 16:56

    Here is an article describing how they did it:

  • - 2011-02-08 19:41

    I suppose if you're sad looking or grumpy in your profile pic, then your safe

  • JoburgDating - 2011-02-11 05:31

    Dating websites need to start behaving like proper businesses and stop with all the sneaky spam tactic marketing! Some of us aren't that dodgy! :)

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