An online dating service targeting Harvard students was recently revealed to be an elaborate prank and the brainchild of an MIT student.
In October, The Harvard Crimson reported that a matchmaking survey called the “Harvard Marriage Pact” had been making the rounds on campus until the service’s website and social media presence suddenly “disappeared without explanation,” which led some students to believe that they had been scammed.
But the service later reappeared on Oct. 31 under a new name, ExExEx, and students who had participated finally received an email with their “match,” according to the Crimson.
On Nov. 4 the Crimson reported that the service was created as a prank by an MIT undergraduate named Liam Kronman. The newly branded ExExEx website states that “you’re probably really compatible with your exes’ exes’ exes,” above a large button that says “let’s find them.”
At the top of the webpage is the slogan “only two people stand between you and your next mistake.” At the bottom of the page it says ExExEx is “a liam kronman + jason seo production.”
Kronman said it all began as a joke, in a statement provided to the Crimson.
“One afternoon I thought, ‘how many Harvard students could I convince to fill out a long questionnaire to find the love of their life in less than a week?’” Kronman said in the statement. “We had no intention to match people or use their data maliciously (we maintain the latter). Instead we wanted to send out a joke match.”
But apparently they had a change of heart, because Kronman said they ended up sending out “real matches using an algorithm I wrote,” according to the Crimson.
The Crimson reported that the online service was modeled after the Marriage Pact, a matchmaking questionnaire that was started by two Stanford University students in 2017 and is now being used at 64 schools across the country, including Tufts, Middlebury, and Colby.