By Daily Mail Reporters
Last updated at 8:45 PM on 20th June 2011
A social networking site for ‘beautiful’ people has been hit by a Shrek virus which allowed tens of thousands of ugly applicants to sign up.
Members of BeautifulPeople.com must pass a strict rating stage where existing users vote on whether someone is attractive enough to be accepted into the online community.
But this screening process was brought down last month, allowing anyone to join, regardless of their looks.
Virus: beautifulpeople.com was designed just for the most attractive daters, but a cyber-attack meant tens of thousands of ugly people were able to sign-up
Owners today apologised to more than 30,000 unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and subsequently banished.
‘We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting,’ managing director Greg Hodge said.
Face ache: The virus was named after the famously ugly character Shrek
‘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 ugly need not apply: BeautifulPeople.com has a strict vetting process
The origin of the Shrek virus is still being investigated internally but it is believed a former employee may have been responsible.
A spokesman said the sabotage was initially believed to have been caused by one of the 5.5million people rejected from the site.
Safeguards are now in place to prevent any further infiltrators who do not come up to the expected standards, the site said.
It insisted member privacy and security was never breached and has set up a hotline to help recently rejected applicants come to terms with the news.
BeautifulPeople.com has more than 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, it claims
The UK is among the countries with the highest rate of rejections, alongside Russia and Poland.