Yet, it seems like a relatively common experience, even if you aren’t from a minority group.Amanda Chicago Lewis (who now works at Buzz Feed) wrote about her similar experience on Coffee Meets Bagel for LA Weekly : “I've been on the site for almost three months, and fewer than a third of my matches and I have had friends in common.
The disconnect between what the ethnicity preference actually means and what the users expect it to mean ends up being a frustrating disappointment for daters.
Coffee Meets Bagel selling point is its algorithm based on data from its site.
Arab women on the app are a minority, and if there are Arab men who state that they prefer to only see Arab women, then it’s going to show them as many Arab women as it can, even if those women (like my friend) had chosen “no preference”.
Which mean if you are a member of a minority group, “no preference” may end up meaning you’ll disproportionately be matched with people from your own race.
So how does the algorithm find the rest of these dudes? ”Anecdotally, other friends and colleagues who have used the app all had a similiar experience: white and Asian women who had no preference were shown mostly Asian men; latino men were shown only latina women.
All agreed that this racial siloing was not what they were hoping for in potential matches. Yet Coffee Meets Bagel argues that they actually are hoping for racial matches — even if they don’t know it.“The algorithm is NOT saying that ‘we secretly know you're more racist than you actually are…’ What it's saying is ‘I don't have enough information about you so I'm going to use empirical data to maximize your connection rate until I have enough information about you and can use that to maximize connection rate for you.’In this case, the empirical data is that the algorithm knows that people are more likely to match with their own ethnicity.Perhaps the fundamental problem here is a disconnect between what daters think selecting "no preference" will mean ("I am open to dating all different types of people") and what the app's algorithm understands it to mean ("I care so little about ethnicity that I won't think it's weird if I'm shown only one group).If you like the cut of the fella’s jib, you can accept the match and message each other.If you don’t, you simply pass and wait for a new bagel in twenty-four hours.Which was odd only because while she herself is Arab, she never expressed any desire to date only Arab men.