OkCupid Shows “Real” Stuff White People Like (And Other Races, Too)

Is another company using race data to drive marketing?

By Jamilah King Sep 09, 2010

OkCupid, the popular free online dating hub, has figured out a tech-savvy way to answer the question of what people of all races really like (take that, Christian Lander!). The company’s blog detailed how over half a million users were randomly selected and grouped by their self-stated race. The love gurus then looked at all the groups’ profile essays and isolated the interests that made each group "statistically distinct" from the others.

Of course, the lists are predictable. In some places, the data is parsed down between genders. So, while soul food is generally popular among all Black folks, it’s "really, really important to women," according to the site. And Asian men are more likely than women to mention their specific ethnic heritage.

Among white people’s top interests: Tom Clancy, Nascar, and the Boston Red Sox.

And of course black folks love soul food, basketball, and bibles.

Latinos? Merengue tops the list!


Asians apparently love noodles, and cricket. 


But not as much as Indians like cricket! Because, you know, Indians aren’t Asian. 

We could make fun of this all day, because frankly, it’s hilarious. So far it’s unclear exactly how the company plans to use the data. After all, you don’t spend all that time on research and fancy graphics for nothing. Earlier this summer researchers at Facebook announced a similar effort with pretty clear intentions of using the data to drive marketing revenue. No word yet on if and how OkCupid plans to do the same thing.

But maybe I’m just being a hater. As Shani Hilton points out over at Campus Progress, the information is still a good, informative read, despite its problematic assumptions.

In the mean time, it looks like all you black and brown Star War geeks might need to go and renew your race cards.