I sent this email to a lot of people recently:

TL;DR: A new browser add-on automatically flags OkCupid users who have confessed to rape. It was developed by maymay, who wrote a similar tool for the dating website FetLife.com (FAADE) mentioned in The New York Observer.[0]

DID YOU KNOW that if you ask someone if they’ve ever raped (or tried to rape) another person, they’ll just come right out and tell you? As long as you don’t use the “r-word,” turns out they will!

Sounds unbelievable, right? And yet, according to a 2002 study called “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists” by David Lisak and Paul M. Miller, published in Violence and Victims, Vol 17, No. 1, 2002 (Lisak and Miller 2002), a statistically significant percentage of respondents just say so! And this isn’t some fluke. In research conducted by Stephanie K. McWhorter, similar findings were corroborated (“Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel” by Stephanie K. McWhorter, et al., published in Violence and Victims, Vol, 24, No. 2, 2009 [McWhorter 2009]).

So, that’s what rape culture looks like: people blithely admitting to non-consensually violating people’s sexual boundaries on an alarming scale. What can we we do about it?

For starters, how about we just ask folks if they’ve raped others? Before you dismiss this as too obvious to work, take a look at the Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid, a browser add-on that uses OkCupid’s immense database of Match Questions to flag profiles of users who have confessed to exactly the kinds of behaviors Lisak and Miller first highlighted in their groundbreaking 2002 study:


The Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid is designed to be immediately useful, and doesn’t require survivors to do anything at all to benefit. After a 1-click installation, it immediately begins searching OkCupid for potential predators based on their own answers to the Lisak and Miller-styled Match Questions already in OkCupid’s database. Moreover, it’s also able to automatically share information among each of its copies so that you benefit from everyone else who’s already installed it, and they benefit from you installing it, too.

Within moments of a link to the tool appearing on Reddit, a Redditor confessed to having pled “no contest” to a rape charge in court:


(above Reddit thread archived at http://freze.it/1v2 )

Discussion of the Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid is now sprouting up on social media sites like Tumblr[1] and Twitter.[2] And I just thought you’d like to join the conversation. :) Here’s a tweet you can copy and paste to get started:

Early warning of tornados? Check. Want an early warning system for #rape #culture http://maybemaimed.com/playground/predator-alert-tool-for-okcupid/ Predator Alert #Tool for #OkCupid.

I hope you’re well.

Blog: http://maybemaimed.com
Talk show: http://KinkOnTap.com
Community: http://KinkForAll.org


[0] http://observer.com/2012/11/the-story-of-no-sadomasochistic-sex-clubs-sprout-up-on-ivy-campuses-and-coercion-becomes-an-issue/
[1] http://days.maybemaimed.com/post/46293396057/predator-alert-tool-for-okcupid#Notes
[2] https://twitter.com/TofEklund/status/317457631751057408

If you’re moved to do so, please email the people you know who care about stuff like this. (You can just copy-and-paste the above and replace my signature with yours. Yes, really.)

See also: