Picture: Nina Matthews Photography

It was probably a funny joke, or maybe there was a message beneath the hacker action that allowed 30,000 ugly people to accede the dating and networking community

Being the largest community of attractive people in the world with 700,000 members, the club is reserved to good-looking people, who decide if new applicants are worth to join the site.

But last month, something went wrong: Shreck virus – how they called it – brought down this normally strict “rating” stage, allowing anyone to be accepted, regardless of looks.

“We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting,” Said Greg Hodge, managing director of

The origin of the ugly-friendly-virus was initially thought to be one of the 5.5 million rejects, but further investigations pointed to a former employee who hacked the system before leaving the company in May.

The bug allowed all new applications to skip the very strict rating process, whose verdicts are based on a few pictures and a brief profile submitted with any request.

Normally, existing members “democratically” vote ‘Absolutely not’, ‘No’, ‘Hmm ok’, or ‘Beautiful’ for every aspiring fellow. The selection is so demanding that only one in seven applicants is accepted on average. According to the website’s figures, the majority of successful new members come from the USA, Denmark and France, while the countries with the highest rate of rejections are the UK, Russia and Poland.

Picture: jksphotos

But why do so many self-confident people try to step in such a classy community, where they cannot give any personal detail that would allow fellow members to contact them directly, including phone number and email address?

For $25 a month, the site promises an “elite global lifestyle”, organizing glamorous parties where attractive people from all over the world could meet and find their soul mate – over 600 marriages followed unions interceded by the site and, apparently, many beautiful babies were born -. Moreover, members would be given professional contacts, including leading film and TV companies.

Mr Hodge reassured the community that the rating module has been restored: “Every vote continues to count as we remain true to our founding principles: keeping the trolls out and the beautiful people in.”

If there was a message behind the Shrek Virus, it has not been received, I guess. Maybe the hacker could start his own club, open to ugly people as well as normal and good-looking.

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