NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BeautifulPeople.com, the dating and networking community exclusively for good-looking people, has been hit by a virus that allowed 30,000 "ugly" people to invade the site.
Normally, everyone must pass a strict "rating" stage, where existing members vote on whether new applicants are beautiful enough to join the site.
But the rating module was brought down last month, allowing anyone - regardless of looks – to be accepted.
Greg Hodge, managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, said: "We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting."
"We responded immediately, repairing the damage from the 'Shrek Virus' and putting every new member back into the rating module for a legitimate and democratic vote. The result is that we have lost over 30,000 recent members.
"We have sincere regret for the unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and who believed, albeit for a short while, that they were beautiful. It must be a bitter pill to swallow, but better to have had a slice of heaven then never to have tasted it at all."
The origin of the 'Shrek Virus' is still being investigated internally. It was initially thought to be one of the 5.5 million BeautifulPeople.com rejects, but further investigations point to a former employee who placed the virus before leaving the team in May. Despite wreaking havoc with the application process, member privacy and security was never breached.
A team of beauty police from around the world has been recruited to guard against any further infiltrators who do not come up to the expected standards.
BeautifulPeople.com has set up a hotline on 1 (800) 791-0662 to help recently rejected applicants deal with the hard news and can give tips for those wishing to re-apply.
Hodge said: "We have now launched version 3.3 of the site a month ahead of schedule, what you see when you visit BeautifulPeople.com today is a more sophisticated site and an even more exclusive and tightly guarded community of beautiful men and women only.
"We would like to reassure our community that the rating module has been restored to perfect working order. Every vote continues to count as we remain true to our founding principles; keeping the trolls out and the beautiful people in. On a positive note, we did get several thousand worthy applicants during the same period – notably from the USA, Denmark and Australia."
BeautifulPeople.com is the largest community of attractive people in the world. Despite the recent rejections, the site has over 700,000 members worldwide.
On average, one in seven applicants is accepted. The majority of successful new members come from the USA, Denmark and France. The countries with the highest rate of rejections are the UK, Russia and Poland with the UK and Russia having the least attractive male applicants in the world.
The 30,000 ugly people recently cast out of BeautifulPeople.com were from the following countries:
Entry to BeautifulPeople.com is only possible after passing a democratic rating process, where members vote 'Absolutely not', 'No', 'Hmm ok', and 'Beautiful' based on photographs and a brief profile submitted by new applicants.
There have been over 600 marriages through unions founded on BeautifulPeople.com and many beautiful babies born.
An elite global lifestyle
Members of BeautifulPeople.com enjoy:
Access to beautiful people locally and from around the world